Heritage Breeds Week

Heritage Breeds Week

Released On 18th May 2021


May 16th - 30th is Heritage Breeds Week

Well, the observant amongst you will notice that it is actually a fortnight, but I guess Heritage Breeds Week slips off the tongue with more ease ??

The reasons why:

This drive will be celebrating Heritage and Rare Breeds Week, a cause very close to our hearts here at Owen Barry & one we think is very important to raise awareness of.

It is an event organized by The Livestock Conservancy, a group dedicated to ensuring rare breeds survive.  Only a few decades ago it would have been hard to imagine farm animals on the brink of extinction, but sadly modern farming practices have made that a reality for some breeds. 

Nowadays the task of keeping these breeds alive and thriving falls on individual farmers and enthusiasts, sadly many of them don’t have access to all the resources that they need, so it is important to raise awareness of the UK’s Heritage Rare Breeds.

We like to get involved

As Owen Barry's contribution to this, we have spent time at England’s only organic sheepskin tannery (and farm) to learn more about this fascinating industry.

Have I seen him somewhere before?

Yes indeed some of you may recognise Mark, he worked here at Owen Barry for 10+ years, until he bought the Organic Tannery 3 years ago and moved into the even more hands-on side of sheepskin tanning.

Mark is still very much a "member" of the OB family so we hope you enjoy seeing behind the scenes of his new "career"  - it is absolutely fascinating, even if we do say so ourselves!


Here are the first few videos

1)  Introduction: In this video Mark tells us about the origins of the tannery. Then we go into the delivery barn and meet his 2 sons, (aged 12 & 5),  who, as we were talking have helped with a newly delivered lamb and processed the birth.

2)  Here is the first part of the tanning process from selecting and preserving the skins, through all of the "wet" processes, the washing, rinsing, wheeling, pickling and tanning in Mimosa bark dyestuffs

3) The Ahhhh bit - feeding the orphan lambs, see who's in the nursery at the moment, all three of Marks children tell us about the present residents, the lambs names, ages etc, plus Mark tells us more about the feeding, intervals and other behind the scenes stuff. 

4) And finally for this batch,  the drainage and disposal of the tanning effluents into natural willow and reed beds, how this is managed and more.

We hope you enjoy these videos, please check back - there will be lots more !!


If you are interested in learning more about Mark and the Organic Sheepskin Tannery please check out his website here: 




Category: Cindi's Journal

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