A beacon of traditional farming in the Brecon Beacons 

Penycaeau Farm - Clun Forests

Clun Forest

Our Clun Forest flock

Cluns are hardy, adaptable, long lived and make excellent mothers. Their meat is lean, dark and flavoursome and their fleece is one of the best native down type fleeces.

Brian has been a breeder of Clun Forest sheep all his life and our 'Travelly' flock forms the basis of our commercial sheep farm. Our ‘Travelly’ flock is the current Breed Society Champion flock.  Today Cluns find themselves on the DEFRA list of Breeds at Risk, despite being a breed which has so much to commend it. With a resurgence in native breeds, we hope that more and more commercial farmers and smallholders alike will give the Cluns a try.  It truly is 'the breed for all seasons'!

Breed characteristics

  • Good longevity
  • High level of disease resistance
  • Sound feet and teeth
  • Low mortality
  • Adaptable to different environments
  • Excellent mothering instincts
  • Easy lambing
  • Prolificacy level of around 175%
  • Producing plenty of rich milk
  • When crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester produces the 'English Mule'
  • When crossed with a terminal sire produces lambs with excellent weight for age

Breed standard

  • Face which is clean, open, dark brown and free from speckles
  • Top of head nicely covered and free from dark wool
  • Ears not too long, free from speckles and carried high
  • Strong, muscular neck
  • Lengthy, good back
  • Deep ribs
  • Strong loin
  • Good hock
  • Deep and well rounded thighs
  • Good through the heart
  • Strong bone
  • Standing square on its legs
  • Legs  free from speckles and fairly free from wool below the hock and knee

Meat & fleece

Meat is lean, dark and flavoursome. Fleece characteristics are as follows:

  • Fine, down type of uniform quality
  • White with no coloured fibres and kemp free F
  • Fleece weight of 2-3 kgs
  • Staple length 7.5-10 cms
  • Dense, blocky staples with a well developed crimp
  • Fibre diameter 25-28 microns
  • Bradford count 56-58

The fleece is in demand commercially for hosiery, knitting wool, industrial felts and futons. For the hand spinner it is a versatile wool with pronounced crimp which takes dye well and produces yarns with elasticity and loft.

Penycaeau Farm - Clun ForestsShows

Our sheep are always in the ribbons. Our only shows in 2017 were the first ever Clun Fun Day, a celebration of all things Clun Forest sheep related, which was held in the town of Clun, where we came away with Champion sheep!  (now sold).  To top off the year we were awarded Champion Clun Forest flock in the 4 yearly nationwide Clun Forest flock competition.  There’s a rather large cup to polish for the next four years now!