At the Guildhall Heritage Centre in Dulverton, Somerset

The Exmoor Horn Exhibition

Free Admission

The breed's history, what happens to an Exmoor Horn through the seasons, from Fleece to Flannel display, Shearing tableau and photographs old and new.  


Open April to October 

Monday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm and Sunday 11am to 3.30pm




The launch of the Exmoor Horn lamb brand at Culbone Stables Inn on Wednesday 8 October, was a resounding success.  


Members of the Exmoor National Park's Sustainable Development Fund committee, members of the press and Richard Guest, Head Chef of the Castle Hotel in Taunton, were among the guests at the VIP lunch.  They were welcomed by the Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders' Society Chairman, Edward Harding, and the Society's Marketing Consultant Ian Rigby explained how, with the SDF's support, three years spent promoting the Exmoor Horn breed had culminated in this exciting launch of the Exmoor Horn meat brand.


At lunch Exmoor Horn lamb and mutton was expertly cooked and served by Simon David and his team at the Culbone Stables Inn.  The unique qualities of the Exmoor Horn meat were appreciated by all present - full of flavour and tender, the only debate among guests was as to whether they preferred the lamb or the mutton.    


Downstairs in the bar some 190 lamb baps were enjoyed by members of the public taking part in the Exmoor Food Festival, and a display of butchered lamb was soon being snapped up by people eager to be able to enjoy the Exmoor Horn lamb at home.


For the first time in its 100 year history the Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders' Society are now able to market branded lamb directly to the consumer.  Orders were taken at Culbone for half a lamb direct from Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders' Society Members, delivered through a box scheme to the customers' home, anywhere in the country.   


For further information on how you too can enjoy Exmoor Horn lamb in your own home, contact the Society Secretary, Mrs Gina Rawle, at





  PRESS RELEASE 9 October 2008  



The Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders Society, for the first time in its 100-year history, will now be able to market branded lamb and mutton products directly to the consumer.


Over 100 people attended the launch of the Exmoor Horn meat brand, which took place at the Culbone Stables Inn, near Porlock, as part of this year’s Exmoor Food Festival.  Those attending were treated to a free Exmoor Horn lamb bap and roast potatoes to let them sample for themselves pure-bred lamb produced at the very heart of Exmoor .  Society Chairman, Edward Harding, said, “today marks a defining moment in the long history of our Society.  For the first time consumers anywhere in the country, through our next day delivery box scheme, will be able to purchase delicious, pure Exmoor Horn lamb directly from Exmoor farms”.


Exmoor Horn sheep have roamed the hills and coombs of Exmoor for centuries and are as much a part of the Exmoor landscape as the wild Exmoor Pony and Red Deer .  As such the breed has remained very pure, this combined with the wild and natural habitat found on Exmoor produces lamb with a distinctive flavour and exceptional eating quality that is unique to this part of the South West.  A fact that was not lost on our ancestors, when at the turn of the century


Exmoor Horn mutton was a much sought after delicacy that was served at the tables of some of the most prestigious of London restaurants.  


With support from the Exmoor Sustainable Development Fund, in 2006 the Society embarked on a three-year plan to increase the number of Exmoor Horn sheep kept on the moor.  Now with the further help of marketing consultant, Ian Rigby, the society is looking at developing the market for its lamb and mutton meat products.


“Historically Exmoor Horn lamb has been sold through local outlets and markets as an unbranded commodity”, said Ian, “and although some lamb was regularly sold through local doorstep sales traditional Exmoor producers were not geared up to sell directly to consumers or the meat trade”.  “From the results of market research that I carried out for the Society, it became clear that there was significant demand both locally and further a field for this unique product”, continued Ian.


The study highlighted that, working with local abattoirs, producers could take orders for jointed, half or whole lambs and supply these directly to consumers through a next day courier delivery chilled box scheme.  The research also indicated a high degree of interest from retail butchers in the area who would be keen to sell pure Exmoor Horn lamb from known farms of origin.


“Following a very successful trial last year where four leading Exmoor restaurants served Exmoor Horn lamb on their menus and which got a big thumbs up from diners, we feel this is another potentially exciting outlet for      Exmoor producers”, said Ian.  “Some restaurants already serve ‘ Exmoor lamb’ which is a generic term that can cover any breed produced by any farming system.  This should not be confused with ‘Exmoor Horn’ lamb which is from the pure bred animal, born and reared on Exmoor on natural moorland and pastures systems”, concludes Ian.

Ian Rigby, Project Manager and Marketing Consultant

Free roast lamb launch of Exmoor Horn brand - Western Morning News 17 Sept 2008

T HE new Exmoor Horn lamb meat brand is being officially launched at the Culbone Stables Inn, near Porlock on October 8.   The all-day event is open to the public and free roast lamb baps and roast potatoes will be provided between 12 noon and 2pm.   Following the launch it will be possible for the first time to order pure Exmoor Horn lamb direct from Exmoor Horn sheep breeders' farms.

Exmoor's horned sheep have roamed the hills and uplands of Exmoor for centuries and have played a significant role in shaping the moor's landscape. At the beginning of the 20th century the breed was highly prized for the eating quality of its meat, as well as the fine wool fleeces that it produced. At that time Exmoor Horn mutton was a much sought-after delicacy, served in some of the most prestigious of London restaurants.

In the years following the Second World War and the Government's quest for the production of cheap food, through intensified farming systems, many of our more traditional breeds fell from favour. The Exmoor Horn was able to adapt to these changes and today there are still 19,000 registered breeding ewes and a thriving breed society that celebrated its centenary last year.

In a major three-year promotional programme financed by the Exmoor National Park and supported by Defra, the breed society has been encouraging more local farmers to increase the numbers of Exmoor Horn sheep kept on Exmoor . This has also led to a revival of interest in Exmoor Horn lamb and mutton products.

The society's consultant, Ian Rigby, explained: "There is a growing demand for local food that is produced under more natural, less intensive farming systems. Exmoor Horn sheep are perfectly suited to this and are farmed in this way, with the added benefit of being reared in the natural, unspoiled surroundings afforded by a National Park. There is ample evidence to support the fact that traditional sheep breeds, like the Exmoor Horn, that are farmed on upland moorland and natural pastures, produce meat with enhanced eating quality and flavour."

He said that last year the society was very encouraged by the positive feedback it received when it trialled Exmoor Horn lamb in four leading Exmoor restaurants, and once again Exmoor Horn lamb and mutton us beginning to be sold in London restaurants.

Mr Rigby added: "The launch will include our new box scheme, which will enable consumers to order a half or whole lamb directly from a local farmer breeder and have it delivered by courier straight to their doorstep. We are also getting serious inquiries from local retail butchers who are keen to sell locally produced meat and to be able to show their customers what breed it is and the name of the farmer and farm where it was reared."

Developing the Exmoor Horn Lamb Brand  - (article in the NFU Magazine)

A keen group of Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders’ Society members met recently to develop and take forward ideas for a brand for the future marketing of its sheep meat products. The “Pioneer Meat Group” has made recommendations for quality standards that will need to be met by producers when marketing Exmoor Horn lamb under the Society banner.

 The Society has also commissioned designs for a meat logo and point of sale promotional literature to be used as new added value ways of selling Exmoor Horn lamb and mutton are trialled by producer members. “From trials in four restaurants across Exmoor last year and initial responses from a survey of independent butchers that is currently underway, we know that there is a strong demand for a locally produce quality product like ours”, comments Society marketing consultant, Ian Rigby. “Lamb from pure bred Exmoor Horn animals reared and kept under the natural conditions found on Exmoor is just what many more discerning consumers are looking for these days”, said Ian. 

The results of market research looking at a variety of potential ways for producers to market their lamb will be available towards the end of the summer.

Ian Rigby, Project Manager and Marketing Consultant  


Past News items

Please select from the past News items below ...


Exmoor Horn Goes Gold

NSA South West

Exmoor Horn Goes Gold

The Exmoor Horn show season got off to a terrific start this year when their stand at the Devon County Show won the gold award.  The stand, which features information about the hardy purebred Exmoor Horn animal as well as the extremely successful and prolific Exmoor Mule was produced with grant funding from the Exmoor Sustainable Development Fund.  There is information on the special qualities of Exmoor Horn Lamb and Mutton meat products and it provides a focus for those wishing to gain more information on the breed. 

In the show ring at Devon County (Judge Mr C T Ridd), championship prizes were awarded to Mr R F Clarke (Old Ram), Mr T Atkins (Yearling Ewe) and Mr M R Scott for his Ewe Lamb exhibit.  These winning ways continued when exhibiters moved on to a rather damp start at the Royal Bath & West Show, where Judge Mr P Huxtable was officiating.  Mr R F Clarke had a particularly good show winning the Group of Three, Old Ram, Yearling Ram classes and being awarded the Championship prize for Best Old Ram.  Mr R Scott took the Ram Lamb and Ewe Lamb classes and Mr T Atkins the Yearling Ewe class. 

Ian Rigby, Project Manager and Marketing Consultant  


  NSA South West  





Exmoor Horn sheep fleeces are proving to be the ideal basic ingredient for spinners, weavers and knitters who are looking to meet a growing demand for high quality, natural woollen fashion items.


The Exmoor Horn sheep breed continued its winning ways at this year’s prestigious National Sheep Association event, held in Launceston last week.  Following success in the show classes at the Devon County and Royal Bath & West Shows, the breed had outstanding success in the quality fleece classes at the Cornish event.


Horn breeder and Exmoor farmer Richmond Harding (pictured on the show stand) virtually swept the board with his Exmoor Horn sheep fleece entries, demonstrating the true versatility of this upland breed.  

The Exmoor Horn has long been prized for the succulence and flavour of its naturally produced lamb and mutton.  There is now renewed interest in using the fine wool from this native Exmoor breed to produce quality woollen items and clothing.  


Visitors to the Exmoor Horn stand were able to see the wool in its natural state courtesy of a magnificent Horn ram from J R Richards & Sons who have farmed the breed, above Porlock, for generations.  There was also a demonstration of how a fleece, donated by Horn breeder David Bawden, had been spun into fine wool and used to produce wonderful quality knitted socks, hats and cushion covers and woven to produce a superb woollen blanket by Laura Gordon



John Richards and his aptly named fiancée, Justine Woolley, enthralled children from local primary schools with fun and informative sessions on sheep keeping and wool production.  The children all went away with some strands of wool and a much greater understanding and appreciation of where their woolly jumpers come from.   



Ian Rigby, Project Manager and Marketing Consultant

Tel: 01598 741206