We started Dartmoor Sheepskins with a strong sense that it was the right thing to do; Axminster Carpets had just closed locally and the tannery had nowhere in Buckfastleigh to sell sheepskins – which was strange after so many generations had traded their wares in these Stannery towns at the edges of Dartmoor. It felt wrong to us and we set about to changing things. TLDR: we did change things and continue to do so. We are beginning to see our vision come true, and 2021 looks set to be another significant year.
For us, the loss of commerce and social interaction that came from this historic trade of sheepskin products seemed too much to let go of.
Dartmoor has always been hard to reach, and hard to survive. Those who thrive here have developed special skills, but it is not something we could attempt without a community of other people and industries.
It was also a project tangibly limited by reality: would there be enough like-minded people who would really ‘get it’?
From the beginning we knew that our pitch wasn’t going to work for everyone – Using sheepskin does nothing to help sheep whatsoever.
And even if it makes sense in a pragmatic way, we can forgive people any squeamishness they have about fur.
We always knew it would be a hard sell… unless we could meet enough like-minded souls.
So dartmoorsheepskins.co.uk was born on the assumption that there are enough people who can see our way of thinking, and that we could manage to reach you online…
And the good news is: there are! If you’ve read this far then you might be one of them, which gives us the confidence to keep going forward.
Shannon is the person you are likely to communicate with when you reach out to us.
She has always had a passionate approach to customer care, and as a founder of Dartmoor Sheepskins she keeps this at the forefront of everything we do.
Shannon is also the last word in quality control – all our products go through her fair hands and she packs them off for delivery with the same personal touch that a friend would.
She’s very good at it and we love her. Shannon’s favourite things are: brown paper, really sharp scissors, a nice hole punch and a cup of tea the colour of He-Man.
These things are all best enjoyed with an episode of You’re Dead To Me.
Shannon likes to scare herself and is currently doing so by learning to ride a Honda CBF125.
I write about sheepskins way too often because I’ve got a real bee in my bonnet about sheepskins waste (which is currently at 99.4% of the sheep we eat in the UK). I’m on a mission to 100% sheepskin use, so I’m over the moon to have you on board.
The task ahead of us is to spread awareness of the utility and luxury of this humble and ancient item, and to demonstrate its use in camping, wild swimming and outdoor life – especially in the UK. I could be accused of spending too much time on Twitter, where I bang on about all the hillforts I’ve known and loved.
If you’ve read this far then I thank you – it’s not a message that everyone has time and inclination to give thought to. But to take time and give thought is very Westcountry. To ruminate over things without rushing in is very Dartmoor.
The land and the weather often have a huge degree of control over life on Dartmoor. Human willpower, in the face of all that Dartmoor can offer up, can flap around like a tent that’s lost a peg. Everyone’s lives changed last year, we were lucky and came through with our health, and our mission, intact.
We love to work with likeminded people
Henry lives, wait for it… underground.
Henry builds mycelia networks on recycled organic matter – and these spore blocks enable, even complete beginners, to grow their own Oyster Mushrooms.
Henry has been brilliant with this very technical cultivation and we will be introducing Yellow and Pink Oyster Mushrooms as well as Elm Oysters too in the near future. Henry has an even worse mobile phone signal than I do, and that is saying something.
Martin has been supplying us with his cured local meats and all-fruit snacks for a number of years.
Martin has been making traditional recipes for much longer than he’d care to admit, he even goes to ancient re-enactments as a medieval stall holder.
We think you’ll agree, Martin is one of a kind. We know you’ll enjoy the mouth watering flavours he consistently develops and perfects – he is always seeking the next authentic flavour.
If you’ve not tried Martin’s Beef Biltong then why not pop some in your basket and use the discount code opposite to save £2.
It’s succulent and chewy at the same time, and quite delicious.
Get in touch
What do you products do you make?
Do drop us a line if you are looking at our website and want us to stock your British-made, environmentally-sound products.
To keep in touch with our latest offers, do sign up to our newsletter – aspirationally, I write two emails a month.
In practice this means one email a month except in early December when it seems tolerable to send two.
You can unsubscribe at any time but this is where I show off the sheepskins that I personally would love to take home with me.
It really is the inside track on the best bespoke sheepskins from Dartmoor and I only send an email if it’s worth your time receiving it.