Continental Herdwick Sheep Breeders

Herdwick sheep originate from the Lake District in the north-west of England. They live in England’s highest mountains with fells up to 900 meter. They are the keepers of a vast open landscape with magnificent views. The harsh climate and poor vegetation of the hills has turned the Herdwick into the most hardy of all Britain's breeds of hill sheep. For more information about the breed we refer to the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association in the United Kingdom (HSBA).

Traditional Lakeland Herdwicks

The passion for the breed is not only about the sheep but also about the Lakeland tradition, the people and the land. The true Herdwick is characterised by its appearance not by its paper records.

The aim of the Continental Herdwick Sheep Breeders is to join up Herdwick breeders from across mainland (EU) that want to breed according to the tradition of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association in the United Kingdom. ​​

The Westerplas Flock (Sint-Martens-Latem) and Bomlozeput (Watervliet) attemt to organise activities to bring together European Herdwick breeders. The last meeting took place in the spring of 2018 following the tenth anniversary of the Westerplas Flock, with highly regarded guests from the Lake District.

If you would like to be informed of Continental Herdwick Sheep Breeders activities send an email to .

Background information about the Flock Book

The Flock Book managed by the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association (HSBA) from the Lake District differs from the conventional breeding books we know in the rest of the European Union. A sheep is inspected and entered into the Flock Book only when it meets the breed standard. Other than the sire no other details of the ancestors are recorded in an official way. The definition of a ‘purebred’ breeding animal in European legislation requires a record of two generations of both male and female ancestors, managed by an association recognized by the government. It is possible to have a supplementary section in the breeding book for animals without this information, but only for females. After several years of cross-breeding with male animals in the main section of the book, the offspring can then be recorded as purebred. The Westerplas Flock decided to follow the Lakeland way and breeds Herdwicks with HSBA registered sheep.