by Sue Cole

How it all began
The ‘Hollyhock Flock’ started over 25 years ago with a couple of Shetland ewe lambs. For a few years I stayed with the Shetlands and bred myself a small flock, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for. After a visit to Sweden in 1987 I discovered exactly what I was after; Gotlands. I bought my 1st ram Hooklands Goliat straight away and have since bought in a succession of quality pure bred Gotland rams that I have used on my shetland cross ewes until now. My current flock have 6 different Gotland rams in their ancestry.
I have selected the ewes that I keep to give me a good manageable sized sheep with good confirmation, a nice friendly temperament and a beautiful fleece with a range of colours and the right size of curl for what I want to use the wool for. Most have the appearance of a pure bred Gotland, but as you can see from some of the photos, a few have a rather distinctive Hollyhock Flock look. I register the lambs that I keep on the part bred Gotland register.

A healthy, happy flock
It has always been my aim to farm in the most environmentally friendly way that I can. I have been a member of the Soil Association for over 25years and although I cannot claim my meat is Organic, I believe very strongly that a healthy soil produces healthy animals and I hope over the years I have gradually improved the health and fertility of the rather poor New Forest soil I started with. The result is a very happy and healthy collection of sheep that produce friendly ewes, great wool and very tasty meat!
Possibly a bit too well as this year 50% of my ewes had triplets – all of which survived and are thriving.


Redpoll Cattle
Sadly I no longer have my beautiful cows. Annual TB testing of the whole herd became a problem for me as I haven’t got a crush and I reluctantly decided they would have to go.

Advertisements