The Soay has the most primitive appearance of any British sheep breed and takes its name from the island of Soay in the St. Kilda group in the far north of Scotland. The meat is delicious, dark and full flavoured – often sold as mutton for slow cooking. They are brown in colour, from tan to chocolate – beautiful fleeces.
Soay means ‘sheep island’ in Norse. These sheep pre date Vikings in these far north isles where they are in their element. They are good mothers and successfully protect their young from birds of prey in the rugged terrain. There are currently herds reared on Skye, and in the Cairngorms at The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre.
This can be very seasonal but freezes beautifully. Currently available mail order from Cairngorm Reindeer Centre.
photo : Tilly Smith