They are direct descendants of the ancient North European short tailed sheep that came to Scotland 8 thousand years ago. Small, hardy and lively ewes rarely weighing more than 40kg. Originally from the Hebrides and now very few flocks left.
Their dainty frame means small cuts and many farmers favour modern breeds with larger cuts and greater weight as that is demanded at auction. It is also the case that if lamb is seen as a commodity then their only asset is weight. Those who rear Hebridean and other rare breeds recognise the value in flavour, wool, sustainability, their wonderful characters and lively nature, not size.
Ardoch Hebridean Sheep (on link) are one of the few who are dedicated to the breed and have a multi-award-winning flock, often to be seen showed at the Royal Highland Show mid June in Edinburgh.