Roger and Angela Doughty live in Mid Devon, away from the crowded coasts and tourist sites. Higher Bridge Farm lies on the outskirts of Lapford, a village in the Taw valley, midway between Exeter and Barnstaple. From high ground nearby we can see both Dartmoor and Exmoor, but our wooded and gentle slopes offer better grazing and a kinder climate.

Romney Sheep in a field

Our first Romneys arrived in the 1980s and have been recorded in detail for the last thirty years. Every animal with descendants in the flock has an entry in the index.

Romney Lambs
Our flock is unusual in the Romney world, because nearly half of the sheep are natural coloured. We have sought out coloured Romneys from other flocks and have concentrated on producing high quality fleeces for hand spinning, weaving and felting. Our customers are right to be choosy about their purchases…the days of being able to sell a fleece simply because it wasn’t white are long gone.

We aim to provide what you, as an artist, need.

Shearing usually takes place after Christmas, when all the sheep are housed for the worst of the winter weather. Like us, the sheep are more comfortable indoors without their coats on; after a few days of shivering and sitting close together for warmth, they turn to their usual routine of eating and sleeping, away from wind and rain, snow and frost. Every fleece is weighed, photographed and assessed for softness, crimp (crinkles add elasticity to spun yarn), length and character. We’re always looking for a well grown fleece with all parts of the body having equal quality, because it indicates that the owner has been in good health throughout the previous year.

Most of our white fleeces are sent to the British Wool Marketing Board, with just a few really special ones kept back.

The coloured fleeces range from pale grey to black, with varied shades in between, often in the same fleece. We have sent fleece to happy crafts people from Cornwall to Orkney, as well as to Germany, the Ukraine and various parts of Russia. We welcome farm visitors who come to buy breeding stock or fleeces.