Our relationship with the Soay breed of sheep started with a visit to a kid's wildlife park. While my children wanted to see pigs and hold chicks, I was fascinated by the elusive herd of goat like soay sheep that lived in the woods at the edge of the park. They never seemed to stand still and their dark colouring and short wool were polar opposites to the fluffy clouds that dotted the hillsides.
Soays are the most primitive breed of sheep in the UK. Never having been bred for size or wool, they are about as close to wild sheep as you can get. Healthy, with minimal management needed, our sheep are keen browsers and do well on our marginal farmland. Soays are slow to grow and will generally be 2 years old before they are ready for the table. The taste is really unlike any other supermarket lamb you may have tasted, much leaner and a bit more gamey than other breeds.
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