Last chance for farmers to fill sheep breed survey

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is encouraging sheep farmers in Wales to complete the British Sheep Breed Survey 2020 before the 11 January deadline.

A paper copy of the bilingual survey was sent to all sheep keepers in the latter part of 2020 as well as a pre-paid envelope to return the completed form.

This investigation into the UK breeding flock has been undertaken periodically since 1971 to record the number of sheep within each breed, their distribution and mating structure. The last survey took place in 2012 and its survey report documented new breeds that were not recorded previously, the changing influence of crossbred ewes and rise of certain terminal sire and lowland breeds. 

HCC has worked alongside AHDB, QMS, Signet and British Wool to produce the latest version of the survey. Nia Davies, Research and Development Officer at HCC said: “The breed structure of the UK sheep sector continues to change as we meet the changing demands of the industry. We hope that the results of this survey will show us exactly how things have evolved so that the impacts of the last eight years can be investigated. 

“Completing it should not be an onerous task. The form asks for details of the ewes put to ram and a summary of the rams used, as well as the number of lambs sold from the 2020 lamb crop and the sheep sold for breeding in 2020. All farmers are likely to have this information to hand. 

“We look forward to analysing the results which will help us to understand the changing landscape of the sheep sector.”

The research will also assist British Wool to keep the wool grading system relevant and as such, aim to add value to producers’ wool over the medium to long-term.

Replacement copies of the survey, as well as the 2012 survey report, can be accessed online at The information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and used for research purposes only in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.