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Monday, August 15, 2022

Group to showcase underused natural asset at counties show

* Sheep ready for shearing at Pentredwr.

A community group is to showcase a special project to make better use of a valuable natural asset at this year’s Flint and Denbigh Show. 

Pentredwr and District Community Association applied for Lottery funding for the Hwb project which is now half way through its two-year life. 

The association has numerous community aims centred around rural isolation and depravation and one aspect members are looking at is local Welsh Mountain grade fleece, an underused, undervalued and sustainable, fibre. 

* Wool sacks in storage on the farm.

And to help raise public awareness of this natural fibre, they are showcasing some alternative uses for hill grade fleece at the show, accompanied by Gill Britten of Gwlângollen. 

A spokesperson said: “Hwb Pentredŵr is a project delivered jointly by Pentredŵr and District Community Association and Glwângollen. 

“We are working towards securing community prosperity by developing rural skills and enterprise, addressing rural isolation, supporting digital inclusion and access to services thereby strengthening the community. 

“Sheep production is central to farming in the valley and surrounding area, and shearing is essential to ensure the wellbeing and health of our local flocks. 

“Exploring the wider uses of locally produced Welsh Mountain fleece is a key element of the work we are doing. 

“In total, there are almost 120 different grades of wool in Britain.  Within each style of wool, fleeces are graded by quality with judgements made across a range of characteristics.  

“Our Welsh Mountain sheep must survive in sometimes harsh conditions on the hills, so the wool tends to be much coarser than many other grades of fleece. Consequently, due to its coarser nature, hill grade fleece is generally used in the manufacture of carpets.” 

The spokesperson added: “Our local wool is a totally natural, durable, sustainable, biodegradable fibre which is remarkably deemed as next to worthless in the current market. 

“Prices per kilo for wool have been steadily falling for many years whereas years ago the annual wool cheque would have covered rental for a farm, today, hill grade fleece in our area achieves on average 13p a kilo, meaning a whole fleece is worth only 26-30p. 

“Each sheep costs at least £1 to shear. Shearing is a very skilled job and extremely hard work. In addition, many man hours are required to gather and sort the sheep during the shearing season. 

“HwbPentredŵr and Gwlângollen, with the support of a group of local farmers, are driving forward ideas which may eventually lead to development of a small local wool processing plant, thereby giving this brilliant fibre the respect and recognition it so deserves.” 

Representatives from Hwb Pentredŵr and Gwlângollen will be manning two separate stands at the Flint and Denbigh Show on Thursday August 18, showcasing Welsh Mountain Fleece, some stages of its preparation and also ideas of possible alternative uses. 

They are inviting visitors to call and see them on stand K39. Gill from Gwlângollen will be in the Farmers Union of Wales tent. 

There are numerous, varied events and workshops going on at Pentredŵr. For further details of these follow Hwb Pentredŵr, Pentredŵr and District Community Association and Gwlângollen Facebook pages. 

Hwb Pentredŵr is also on Instagram. Websites:; and

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