Whitefaced Woodland Sheep

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep is a beautiful breed of domestic sheep from United Kingdom. It is actually from the South Pennines in England.

It is known by some other names such as Penistone, Woodlands Horned and Woodland Whiteface. It is called as Penistone sheep after the Yorkshire town where sheep sales have been held since 1699.

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep is thought to be closely related to the Swaledale and the Lonk. Substantial commercial flocks of this breed are kept in the South Pennines area.

But the breed is listed as a vulnerable breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and there are fewer than 900 registered breeding females available in United Kingdom.

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep breed was actually originated from the blackfaced Linton type of mountain sheep.

And it is also said that, the Cheviot and the Merino sheep breeds were also used in the development.

Today the breed is widespread and popular with both commercial farmers and smallholders. However, read some more information about this beautiful sheep breed below.

Whitefaced Woodland Sheep Characteristics

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep is one of the larger of the English hill sheep breeds. It is a powerful animal and has a well balanced body.

Face and head of these animals are white and the legs are also of white color. They have short and fine wool which is often used in carpet.

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Both rams and ewes are horned and the horns of the rams are heavily spiraled.

Average live body weight of the mature Whitefaced Woodland ram can reach about 130 kg.

And average live body weight of the mature ewes is between 60 and 70 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


Whitefaced Woodland sheep is mainly kept for meat production. But the breed is also very good for the production of wool.

Special Notes

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep are very strong and powerful animals. They are very hardy and are able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain.

The ewes are prolific and they can produce lambs into their teens. Their lambing percentage can vary depending on location, which is up to 150 percent on the hill and can reach about 200 percent in a lowland situation (although this is exceptional).

The ewes are excellent mothers and are milky, and the lambs are small and active.

The Whitefaced Woodland sheep breed is mainly raised for meat production. But it is also suitable for the production of wool.

The wool is used mainly for hand-kitting yarns and blankets with some of the coarser grades being used for carpets. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameWhitefaced Woodland
Other NamePenistone, Woodlands Horned and Woodland Whiteface
Breed PurposeMeat
Special NotesVery hardy and strong, ewes are excellent mothers and have high fertility and very milky, both rams and ewes have horns, good foragers and can survive on rough and scrubby feeds, able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain
Breed SizeLarge
WeightBetween 60 and 130 Kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom

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