Poll Dorset Sheep graze high up on the plateau above the Culm Valley

 
 
 
 
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Home to the award winning Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets, this working farm has been here for many generations. The Langford family have brought the facilities up to date for modern, performance recorded sheep farming; restored traditional buildings, and kept the ground under Environmentally Sensitive Area guidelines before entering the Higher Level Scheme of agricultural management. Miles of hedges have been laid and fenced, ponds cleared and new woodland planted. 7 hives of Blackdown Bees are now set amongst the field margins.


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The Blackdown Flock
Pedigree Poll Dorset Sheep at Great Garlandhayes Farm

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The Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets is a closed flock of superior genetic merit, with a high health status. It is managed using modern methods, but makes the most of their traditional characteristics.

Located a few miles to the east of the Wellington Monument on the northern Blackdown Hills, the farm is largely within the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, which supports maintaining the fields and hedgerows in a traditional fashion. At nearly 1000 feet above sea level, the farm sits high within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The farm, through the Waitrose Farming Partnership, is a supporter of FWAG. The farm is permanent grassland, uses practically no fertiliser, and only spot sprays to manage invasive weeds. Soil trace elements are analysed every ten years and supplemented, if needed.

Minimum inputs mean that the stock has to work hard to earn its keep; making it a lean and hardy, yet healthy flock. Lambing only in the autumn; outside on grass, where they are then reared, ensures the out of season lambing characteristics are retained. Use of the data from Signet recording, matched to close visual inspection, means only the highest quality stock is kept for replacements and sale.

 

 

What Others Say

 
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We have long standing relationships with other breeders, as well as buyers of Poll Dorsets and various professional bodies and companies. Here is what they think of us.

In terms of quantifying gain, I think I would look at the Scan Weight EBV – weight of lambs at a time close to slaughter in the case of Graham.

His 203 average was 3.36, 2018 average 9.11 – so 5.75kg higher due to their genetic merit for growth.

Now, only half of this genetic merit would be passed to the progeny of these lambs – so you could say that the average Blackdown ram has the genetic potential to increase lamb weights by 2.88kg compared to one bought from him 15 years ago.

Β£2.88 * Β£2.00/kg liveweight would be about Β£5/head increase in the value of lambs produced by the Blackdown flock – and this ignores an 10% increase in prolificacy since 2004 and gains in maternal ability – weight due to milk - which has also increased by 1.4kg since 2003.
— Sam Boon Manager Signet Breeding Services 17 May 2018