Cumbrian Rough Fell Sheep; Estonian Ruhnu sheep

Here are the sounds of a UK Rough Fell sheep living in the Lake District, contrasted with the sounds of Estonian sheep on the island of Ruhnu.

The Rough Fell sheep live near the Shap pass in Cumbria, and are a mixed group of large rams. They were recorded in the Winter, with their shepherd, Brian Knowles.

The Estonian Ruhnu sheep live on the island of Ruhnu, and are descended from some sheep purchased on the island in the 1950s. They were recorded in the Spring, with their shepherds, Selma and Riina Kaljulaid. “The Naughty One” referred to in the audio is a boisterous ram, whose aggressive behaviour leaves a lot to be desired in the opinion of his minders…

The Ruhnu sheep are considerably smaller than the Rough Fell sheep, which might account for their slightly higher-pitched baas.

Combing Rough Fell wool

This is the sound of hand-combing the washed fleece of the Rough Fell sheep, which is grown in Cumbria, in the UK.

The Rough Fell fleece is strong and characterful and once fetched a very high price for the stuffing of Italian mattresses because of its bounce and strength.

The wool grown in Estonia which is used in Mooste is also good for stuffing mattresses and wool-filled mattresses, pillows and duvets are important outputs for Villakoda, in Mooste.

This recording of Rough Fell fibres was created by attaching contact microphones to wooden wool-combs. You can clearly hear the scratchy qualities of the fibres themselves, as they are combed.