Norfolk Horn Breeders Group

Archive for News & Events

Sagra – Slow Food Event at Holkham

The Slow Food Sagra event held at Holkham Hall

Norfolk Horn hogget was on the menu at the Slow Food Anglia Sagra event held on the Holkham Estate on the 8th April 2017.

Slow Food Anglia held their first festival and Sagra at the historic Holkham Hall Estate, home of the Coke family and the Earls of Leicester located on the beautiful North Norfolk coast.

A Sagra is an Italian festival, normally dedicated to a specific local food (such as olive oil, meat, fish, pasta and other local produce), often specific to that village, town or particular area of an Italian region.

One of the aims of the Sagra is to promote and support less well known producers.

During the day, there was a market in the new Lady Elizabeth Wing, with small local producers from the East Anglia region with particular focus on Norfolk. There were also street food stands outside the main entrance in the courtyard. Producers were selected on the basis of Slow Food principles of good, clean and fair food and it was aimed to have a good range of different producers representing the whole Anglia Region.

The Norfolk Horn Breeders’ Group had a stand informing the public about the Norfolk Horn breed, it would have been more interesting to the public if there were some live sheep in a pen, to show the breed on the hoof (maybe next year?).  The Norfolk Horn (along with Norfolk Saffron), is named as one of the Slow Food Anglia ongoing projects to obtain Presida Status.  At present there are only four Presida granted in the UK – a Perry (an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of pears) from Herefordshire, two cheeses and the latest Presidia just granted in 2016, to the Colchester Native oyster.

The Presidia is run by the Slow Food Foundation of Biodiversity, it is a project designed to sustain quality produce at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, help recover traditional methods of food production and also safeguard local animal breeds and plant varieties.

We purchased some cheese from ‘Mrs Temple’s Cheese’, some wonderful bread (see photo below), shared a huge sausage roll for lunch and finished with some very nice ice-cream from The Hunstanton Ice Cream Company.  There were also other stalls selling honey, wild boar products, chutneys, fudge etc and a cake stall selling speciality cakes.

In the evening a group of 16 of us attended a four course Italian Sagra Style dinner featuring lots of the producers that attended the market earlier in the day and many of the Slow Food Ark of Taste products for the East Anglia Region.  Approximately 150 tickets were sold.

The menu was prepared by Chef Mark Matless who recently joined the Slow Food Chef Alliance and became the first Slow Food Chef Alliance member for the Anglia region. His catering company, Bite the Bullit from Norwich, has been a supporter and member of the Slow Food Anglia Approved Business Scheme for several years.  Mark prepared a menu specifically dedicated to products from the Anglian region, including Norfolk Horn hogget from the Belsar flock from Cambridgeshire and other produce from small local East Anglian producers.

The food was served on wooden boards, brought to our tables.  We could help ourselves to as much as we wanted and we ate it off palm leaf plates.  It was amazing and we had great fun trying to match the food to the menu!  The Norfolk Horn hogget was served as the main course and was delicious (luckily for our Chairman, Ted and his wife Sarah, who were amongst our group).

Slow Food Anglia hope to hold a similar event again next year, so please come and join us, as I am sure we will all want to go again.

Showing Workshop 2017


This year our Judging Workshop is being held as part of the Royal County of
Berkshire Show – 16th and 17th September 2017.
We are opening our workshop to Norfolk Horn breeders and also members
of the RBST Chilterns Support Group.

For those wishing to show their sheep at the show entries close 1st August.

Anyone wishing to join the Workshop please contact
Jo –

ReBorn project

Update on The Reborn Project – 10/03/17

Great news, I have just heard that David and Lewis’s donor ewes have produced
three live lambs (2 ram lambs and one ewe lamb), using frozen semen from the
RBST gene bank.

The three lambs are sired by Gipping Jacob – N7043 – born 28/03/2003
and their dam is Still Oaks May N11293 – born 25/03/13.

This really is great and exciting news for our breed.

National Show & Sale Guidelines

The National Show and Sale of Traditional and Native Breeds –
8th and 9th September –

This is our premier show and sale. It is important to bring good quality sheep
that you are proud of; it is not good for your flock (or the Breeders’ Group) if
you bring sub-standard sheep. Any sheep not graded (white carded) should be
removed from the sale. It is our official pedigree breed sale, not a cull sale.

This year sheep entered in the show and sale will be card graded first, so that
we can start our show earlier. Only red and blue carded sheep can be shown.
The card graders will be Ted (Belsar flock), Lynn (Tilney flock) and Hamish
(Sandons flock). Our Judge this year is Simon (Pencroft flock).
All sheep will have coloured stickers put on their lot number to correspond
with their grading. This makes it easier for new breeders to pick out red, blue
or yellow carded sheep – particularly when there are 6 ewes in a pen!

There is a 24 hour veterinary practice – Crescent Vets – 01664 567724 next door to
the market should anyone need a vet urgently.

2016 Annual Census

51 flocks registered stock in the 2016 flock book.

79 flocks completed their 2016 annual census showing 1401 registered ewes, 390 registered shearling ewes and 267 registered ewe lambs (plus 60 birth notified shearling ewes and 412 ewe lambs).

91 registered rams, 48 registered shearling rams and 24 registered ram lambs (plus 15 birth notified rams, 14 shearling rams and 137 ram lambs).

7 flocks that registered stock or purchased sheep in the last 3 years did not complete their 2016 annual census and therefore their flock details can not be confirmed and are not included in the figures above.

It is free to birth notify your stock in their first year. Stock then need to be registered before they are used or tupped so that their progeny can be birth notified / registered.

Re-Born Project update

6 embryos were retrieved.  Two have been put into the RBST Gene Bank and 4 were implanted into donor ewes.  Great news, three out of four of the donor ewes are in lamb. Mating –  Gipping Jacob (N7043) and Still Oaks May (N11293).  Fingers crossed for healthy lambs in March.  Very exciting news for our breed.

CFB Flock Book 2016

Printed copies of the RBST Combined Flock Book have now been distributed to those members who applied for them (£10 each or £12 for overseas members) A small number of additional copies are still available, pleased contact the RBST offices direct. Tel: 02476 696551.

CFB Flock Book NH pages pdf: cfb-2016

National Distribution of Norfolk Horns on a Map :map

The flocks outside East Anglis are very important to the breed.

Show & Sale 2016

Traditional Native Breeds National Show and Sale – congratulations to David and Lewis Walton on winning the champion and reserve champion. A big thank you to our sponsor Laura Stephen on behalf of Isle Vets – W Fen Road, Little Downham, Ely CB6 2BZ. This is the first year we have had our rosettes sponsored, given prize money to our first and second prize winners (as an incentive to show) and given a gift to our judge, Linda Rollason.


Results of S&S pdf:  ss-2016

Open Day at Church Farm

NHBG OPEN DAY – 2016 by Ted Clover (Chairman NHBG)

A big thank you to Paul Furness and Church Farm Rare Breeds Centre, Stow Bardolph for a great Norfolk Horn Breeders’ Group Open Day on Sunday 10th July. Paul, like the rest of us, had suffered from a very wet June and early July which put back a number of jobs, such as hay making. The day itself was mostly dry, but we did have a few heavy showers. We met at 2pm and had refreshments, we were then given the opportunity to see the famous Church Farm pig racing (I had my money on Ham Solo!), a hugely popular event at the Centre and at Shows. We also were able to have a look around the rest of the site and the range of rare breed animals that are on show. This included the Swiss Valais Blacknose sheep.

Paul also had a couple of his Norfolk Horn lambs and Blue Texel Cross lambs in pens to demonstrate the work he is doing using the Norfolk Horn ewe as a terminal dam to produce a commercial lamb. Paul’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the breed is clear and offered a refreshing view on using the breed’s qualities for commercial advantage.

Once the visitors and the rain had died down, we were taken on a tractor and trailer tour around the Stow estate to see the range of sheep breeds grazing this great Norfolk estate. They included Herdwicks, White Faced Woodland, Wensleydale, Southdown, North Ronaldsay, Manx Loaghtan, Boreray, and of course the Norfolk Horns. The day ended with a delicious BBQ including Paul’s home-made coleslaw!

Thank you to Paul and all the team for giving their time to accommodate us on a busy, normal, working Sunday at Church Farm.

NSA Event 2016

The Breeders’ Group had a stand at the NSA sheep event on 27th July at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. It was the first time the Breeders’ Group had been represented at the event, where some 48 different breeds were on show including 9 rare breeds. The event is about everything SHEEP. It was one of those rare occasions where sheep breeders do not feel like second class citizens to cattle!

As well as the stands of different sheep breeds, there were trade stands for all kinds of equipment, seminars, workshops, fencing and handling equipment, demonstrations and also sheep dog displays.

We managed to put together a good stand with some new display boards with photos and information about the breed highlighting their qualities; we also had a fleece and some balls of wool on display. We had pens showing Norfolk Horn sheep including a shearling ewe, an ewe with one of her lambs (born March), an ewe lamb born in January and two Suffolk cross Norfolk Horn lambs. We also had a ram courtesy of Iain and Laura Stephen.
It was a busy day and we had a lot of interest. People were interested to see the breed that produced the Suffolk sheep and also what can be produced by cross breeding. One chap I spoke to was even considering a Norfolk Horn to inject some vigour into his flock of Suffolks!

I suspect it will be hard to attribute clear benefits from being at the event, but I feel is was worthwhile being there and certainly helped to raise the profile of our breed and to highlight the opportunities for the future of the breed.

Many thanks to Phil Pennington, Paul Furness and Tim Lugsden, Anne Lacy for all their help and support in manning the stand. In particular, thanks to Phil for help in planning the stand and setting it up. Also thank you to Iain and Laura Stephen for the loan of their ram and for the balls of wool.

More details can be found at
Sheep 2018 will be held on 18th July

by Ted Clover (Chairman of NHBG)