The Society

The Cotswold Sheep Society, established in 1891, is a very active registered charity working for the conservation and promotion of the the Cotswold breed, with a growing membership throughout the UK and also overseas.

‘The Natural look!’ A Cotswold ewe in full wool

Cotswold sheep are on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s Watch List. They are currently in the At Risk category which means there are only between 900-1500 registered breeding ewes in the country. Many of our sheep are in small flocks of less than 20 breeding ewes, and every flock, large (more than 20 breeding ewes) or small, are important to the long term survival of the breed.

The Society Summer Show 2019

A high point of the Society’s year is the annual Summer Show and AGM. It gives members with sheep a chance to dip their toes in the showing water, and for everyone to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.

Steve Parkes evaluating a lovely class of shearling ewes at the Summer Show in July 2019

The Society also runs a Winter Social which is another extremely popular event and has a very good attendance every year.

Prize giving at the Winter Social, The Westwood Centre, North Leach.

A further important event in the Society’s year is the annual Show and Breed Sale at Cirencester Market under the auspices of Voyce Pullin’s Sale of Rare, Minority & Traditional Breeds Sale.

The Show takes place on the evening prior to the Breed Sale

The Society also runs workshops to help members manage their Cotswolds and to look at some aspects which are particularly important to this wonderful and ancient breed. In 2019 we ran a ‘Care of the Cotswold’ Day which was a great success.

Davina Stanhope demonstrating how the characteristics of Cotswold fleece differ depending on the age of the sheep, during the ‘Care of the Cotswold’ workshop

In May 2022 we held a Spring Social at Aldsworth Village Hall. This was a daytime event to compensate for having had to cancel the 2021 Winter Social owing to concerns about Covid. The pandemic seemed a world away as a great turn out of members enjoyed the ‘Woolly activities’ including peg loom weaving, felting and a demonstration of ‘blade shearing’ as well as an excellent BBQ eaten in the spring sunshine.