Image details: ‘Warning Sheep!’, by pearsongraphics, via Flickr
Sheep shearing and wool production has been an important part of the UK’s sheep industry for the past 6000 years. Sheep are usually sheared at the beginning of the summer months, as they no longer naturally moult, to prevent them overheating in the warm weather. For many centuries, wool was the UK’s most important export and the cloth trade led to the development of many of the nation’s industrial towns. Today, the UK is the 7th largest producer of wool in the world, exporting around a third of its annual clip, however with wool prices around 50p per kg, the value of the wool for most farmers does not cover the cost of shearing.