If you’ve ever wondered about the journey wool takes from sheep to wooly jumper, this experience is an exciting chance to see and take part in it for yourself.
Your host, professional shepherd Chris, will introduce you to the flock and share his tips on herding, before you work as a team to get the sheep into the pen. After trying it yourselves, you may need Chris' help with his trusty dog to safely pen the whole flock.
You’ll see first-hand how a sheep's fleece is sheared, when Chris either shears the whole or part of the sheep (depending on time of year). And as you're gathered around the pen you can ask Chris any questions about the flock, their wool and life as a shepherd.
In the second part of your experience you’ll head to the open barn to try your hand at carding, felting, peg-looming and spinning with a local expert, discovering how wool is prepared once it’s shorn.
This is a great chance to see the journey wool goes through before it’s used in crafts and more, as well as meeting a flock of sheep and discovering herding with a professional shepherd. And you can ask as many questions as you like.
It's all about ewe!
Please note: this experience needs a minimum of 6 people to go ahead. To comply with current Government guidelines we can host a group of 8, provided it is from a maximum of two households (a household is interpreted as a group living together at the same address)
Minimum fitness level required.
Raising the Baa is a family business, run by professional shepherd Chris and his partner Caroline. Chris has been a contract shepherd for many years, but it was when a charity needed a team building activity for the young people they were working with, that he first hosted an experience with his flock. This first experience was a huge success and they continue to work with the charity to this day. Local companies soon became interested and this was the springboard to a thriving corporate team building organisation.
Chris' passion for all things sheep combined with Caroline's marketing and event management expertise, naturally led to a number of experiences for different audiences. People from all walks of life are so keen to know about the life of a shepherd, the sheep and what happens to the wool, we've combined all these elements into fun experiences out in the wonderful fresh air of a farm. Seeing people’s reaction to getting up close with sheep - often for the first time - is always so rewarding. Every sheep has its own character, as you’ll find out! On an experience with Chris you can expect to have a lot of fun with the flock, discovering more about the journey of wool, the sheep and yourself.
It's All About Ewe!View more experiences by Raising the Baa
Whilst being a born and bred farmer, for many years Caroline has also worked at a school for children with challenging behaviour, so has a natural means of keeping communication simple yet firm.
Spinning wool has been a hobby of Caroline's since childhood, and the long, lustrous wool from her rare breed Cotswold sheep is ideal for spinning. She follows in the footsteps of her talented mother, who at 85 years young is still an active shepherdess, spinner and weaver!
With a passion for and extensive knowledge of rare breeds of sheep, Caroline is a sought-after judge at livestock shows across the country. Caroline is not only an expert in sheep but also in cattle, so if you're moo-ved by larger livestock, she's your girl!
Chris is a professional contract shepherd, managing flocks of his own as well as those belonging to others all around Wiltshire. Lambing and shearing from March to June are his busiest times, though there are jobs to be done all year round, from fencing to foot trimming. He's one of a diminishing number of experienced shearers contracted by farmers and smallholders each Summer.
Born and bred in London, agriculture is not in his heritage though he wanted to be a farmer from the age of 8 years old! He always loved helping his dad in the garden, loves being outdoors and is passionate about his job, which brings fresh new challenges every day.
Having hosted charity and corporate team building experiences with the help of his flock, Chris has seen first hand the way experiences with sheep can surprise people, as well as releasing those all important happy hormones - there's something about sheep that brings a smile to people's faces :-)
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