Carl Stephenson British Wool’s English Northern board member

British Wool Looks to the Future at North Sheep

British Wool will be showcasing the work that it carries out on behalf of its wool producers at NSA North Sheep, which takes place at West Shields Farm, Tow Law, County Durham, on Wednesday 7th June.  

Throughout the day, British Wool representatives will outline the recent and upcoming activity of the organisation, the wool supply chain from start to finish, and they will update visitors on the latest wool values for this year’s clip.  A presentation will also be held for Gordon Capstick who is retiring after 15 years as a regional committee member.

Commenting ahead of the event, Carl Stephenson, regional board member for Northern England, said: “NSA North Sheep is an important event for British Wool as it gives us the opportunity to meet our northern producers face to face, and to update them on what British Wool is striving to achieve on their behalf.  Staff and board members will be available to answer any questions and we will be giving the latest information as to what producers can do themselves, on farm, to maximise the return on their clip.”

With shearing very much at the forefront in the sheep industry at this time of year, British Wool will host a press briefing at 09:45 in the show’s press area.  During this briefing, Chairman Ian Buchanan will discuss the latest average wool values and worldwide market which, as a result of a reduction of competition amongst buyers, has experienced a slight decrease.

Over the last 12 months the global market for wool has undoubtedly been challenging and British Wool are keen to show producers how, as an organisation, they are working to modernise the business and improve efficiency at every possible level.  With a new productivity approach in all the depots, early signs are encouraging in terms of the savings which can be achieved.

With this in mind producers may be interested to learn more about how they can improve their clip in order to maximise the potential of their wool.  At 11:15 am, Ian Brooksbank, Head Grader at British Wool’s Bradford depot, will be running a technical workshop on how wool is graded.  This will highlight where wool gains value and where it could lose value.  In most instances, this is largely down to management and clip presentation, both of which can often be improved to ensure producers are making the most of this commodity.

At 12 noon, British Wool will hold a presentation for Gordon Capstick who is retiring as the regional committee member for the Westmorland area.  Gordon, who has been an integral member of the committee, is being presented with this award as a testament of his achievements over the last 15 years.

Gordon’s retirement not only marks a milestone, it also opens up an excellent opportunity for someone to become involved with, and represent British Wool in the Westmorland area.  Anyone who is interested in joining the regional committee, or would like more information on what the role involves, is welcome to visit the stand and discuss this with British Wool staff.

Although the general focus for British Wool at NSA North Sheep will be business orientated, one light-hearted aspect is the ‘Identify the Breed’ competition.  Visitors are being challenged to test their knowledge and identify fleeces from six different breeds of sheep.  Although intended to be fun, this competition also has an underlying educational element in that it will encourage visitors to handle various wool types and help them to gain a better understanding on how fleeces are valued.

Events such as NSA North Sheep provide British Wool with the opportunity to meet with regional producers both socially and with a business focus too.  Understandably, producers are eager to find out more about the up-coming season and what their wool is worth as explained by British Wool Acting Producer Communications Manager, Lauren Boulton:

“British Wool work tirelessly on behalf of producers to market and sell British wool in a global market and therefore keeping in touch with producers is essential.  These regional sheep events are extremely important as they offer us a platform to communicate effectively with wool producers from across the region.  They also give us the opportunity to discuss the latest wool market values and to demonstrate how to add value to your wool.”

NSA North Sheep is a key event in the calendar for both British Wool and producers in the North of England.  It provides an opening to meet with those at the heart of the industry and to offer support and advice.  It is now more important than ever for farmers and industry bodies to work together to secure the future of British production.


Notes to editors:

  1. British Wool will host a press briefing at 09:45 am in the press area at NSA North Sheep.  Chairman Ian Buchanan will discuss the latest average wool values and worldwide market which, as a result of a reduction of competition amongst buyers, has experienced a slight decrease.

  2. British Wool will host a presentation at 12 noon on their stand at NSA North Sheep for retiring regional committee member, Gordon Capstick.


Carl Stephenson, British Wool’s English Northern board member

British Wool Agricultural Show trade stand


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact either:

Lauren Boulton, British Wool’s Producer Communications Manager 07970 476300 or  laurenboulton@britishwool.org.uk


Diane Keating on 01274 688666 or dianekeating@britishwool.org.uk

Issued by agpo@britishwool.org.uk


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