Sussex downland tradition of sheep-rearing at Amberley Museum this Easter

south downs sheep-rearing

Explore the tradition of sheep-rearing along Museum trail

This Easter at Amberley Museum (1st-2nd, 5th-9th & 12th-16th April 2023) you can follow the family-friendly ‘Shepherd of the Downs’ trail around the Museum and explore the Sussex downland tradition of sheep-rearing.

The Southdown Sheep is one of the oldest breeds in the UK and, as the name suggests, originates from the native sheep which have roamed the South Downs in the South of England for many hundreds of years.

Today the breed can be found in the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and many other countries across the globe where its ability to produce high quality lamb has led to it being recognised as a commercially viable breed.

In the UK the breed is starting to undergo a significant revival as a new generation of breeders embrace the breed’s easy lambing, docility and ease of finishing. This makes it suitable for a range of sheep farming systems in all locations and climates with Southdown rams found working in all corners of the UK, from Cornwall to Aberdeenshire.

Amberley Museum, set in the heart of the South Downs, provides the perfect backdrop for finding out more about the role sheep-rearing has played in local culture and industry through the ‘Shepherd of the Downs’ trail running throughout the Easter Holidays and free, wool-based craft sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Free Bus and Train rides around the Museum site are also included in general admission.

Visiting Miniature Steam engines will be joining Amberley Museum on Good Friday (7th), Saturday (8th), Easter Sunday (9th) and Easter Monday (10th). Watch them ‘chug’ around the Museum grounds.


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