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Nick Greaves at the 2017 Golden Shears Competition

Nick Greaves on his home farm

Nick Greaves receiving second place in the speed shear at the World Championships

British Wool Shearing Course

Sheep Farmer April and May 2017

Global Competition Gives Nick’s Shears the Edge

Nick Competes Where Others Shear

British Wool is committed to the continuing success of British shearing.  Each year its Seal standard courses train around a thousand shearers, in this essential part of flock management.

Once learned, shearing is a skill for life, and it is currently enjoying renewed engagement with the younger generation, through and thanks to competitions and world record attempts.

Nick Greaves is one of them.  A 22 year-old wool producer from Gayton, Staffordshire, he completed his first British Wool shearing course in 2011.  He attained the highest Gold Seal standard 2 years later, at just 18.  In 2015, Nick won the English Circuit at Intermediate level and in 2016, he won it at senior level.  He has just returned from New Zealand where he has spent the winter shearing alongside competing in shows.  In the Golden Shears in Masterton, he was 1st in the Senior Speed Shear, shearing a shearling in 31 seconds, and was 4th in the Senior Final.  At the World Championships in Invercargill Nick was 2nd in the Speed Shear, and 4th in the All Comers competition.

Nick lives on the family farm along with his parents, Robert and Karen, and his older brother Richard.  They currently manage 600 Texel cross mule ewes and 70 suckler cows on the 470 acre Moorleys Farm.  Having purchased New Zealand Texel rams, they are transferring to the breed for their ease of lambing traits and to operate their own closed flock.  When he is not shearing Nick works at home, during lambing and calving.

From a young age Nick has had a passion for sheep and was inspired by his grandfather, a shearing instructor, and his mother, a shearer.  At 15 he began working with a local contractor wrapping wool.  Due to his small build, he didn’t shear his first sheep until he was 15.  Despite having seen thousands of sheep being sheared by other people, it was far harder than he ever anticipated.

At 16 he completed his first shearing course and set up his own contracting business.  He purchased a shearing trailer which was towed by his mother until he was able to drive.  Today, Nick’s business employs two shearers, and his girlfriend, Kate, who wraps the wool.  The team, shear in the region of 35,000 sheep each year across the Midlands.

Nick headed to New Zealand for his first shearing season aged 19 and has returned each year since.  Shearing has also taken him to Norway and Italy, experiencing their systems and techniques. To date, Nick has personally sheared approximately 100,000 sheep. 

Describing himself as a “very competitive person”, Nick took home his first shearing title at 19, winning the Intermediate Competition at his local show in Stafford.

His keen enthusiasm continues:  “For me, a shearing competition is the same as any sporting competition and my goal is to represent England in the World Championships in 2019.”

A man on a mission, he is determined and passionate, and willingly attributes much of his success to the support he has received from British Wool.

Established in 1950, British Wool strives to secure UK producers the best trade for their fleeces, and provides opportunities for learning and developing shearing skills to maximise returns.

It’s Seal accredited courses are run by instructors with 20-25 years’ experience.  Commenting on these, Nick said:  “I would not be where I am today without the help of British Wool and Hywel Jones, who mentored me for four years.  I learned the basics on courses held at our farm, a host farm; the importance of attention to detail, and adhering to the correct process.  I was then able to further expand and develop my knowledge and skills, which has been invaluable for both competitive shearing and building a successful contracting business”

“I have been taught to treat every day in the shed, shearing as a contractor, as practice for competitive shearing.  So, whether contract or competitive shearing, I always adhere to the same very high standards.”

Shearing is a key part of the process of harvesting and marketing wool and that is why British Wool continues to actively encourage young shearers to learn and develop this skill.   And, with more and more people completing the Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold Seals each year, the future of shearing in the UK is certainly bright.

Representing around 40,000 producers, British Wool aims to bring stability to the wool market, and obtain the best possible price for the producer.  Its size means it can provide the support and collective voice that other agricultural sectors have lost.

The British Wool training courses run across the country from May to the end of July and details can be found online at www.britishwool.org.uk .

British Wool is committed to the continuing success of British shearing.  Each year its Seal standard courses train around a thousand shearers, in this essential part of flock management.

Once learned, shearing is a skill for life, and it is currently enjoying renewed engagement with the younger generation, through and thanks to competitions and world record attempts.

Nick Greaves is one of them.  A 22 year-old wool producer from Gayton, Staffordshire, he completed his first British Wool shearing course in 2011.  He attained the highest Gold Seal standard 2 years later, at just 18.  In 2015, Nick won the English Circuit at Intermediate level and in 2016, he won it at senior level.  He has just returned from New Zealand where he has spent the winter shearing alongside competing in shows.  In the Golden Shears in Masterton, he was 1st in the Senior Speed Shear, shearing a shearling in 31 seconds, and was 4th in the Senior Final.  At the World Championships in Invercargill Nick was 2nd in the Speed Shear, and 4th in the All Comers competition.

Nick lives on the family farm along with his parents, Robert and Karen, and his older brother Richard.  They currently manage 600 Texel cross mule ewes and 70 suckler cows on the 470 acre Moorleys Farm.  Having purchased New Zealand Texel rams, they are transferring to the breed for their ease of lambing traits and to operate their own closed flock.  When he is not shearing Nick works at home, during lambing and calving.

From a young age Nick has had a passion for sheep and was inspired by his grandfather, a shearing instructor, and his mother, a shearer.  At 15 he began working with a local contractor wrapping wool.  Due to his small build, he didn’t shear his first sheep until he was 15.  Despite having seen thousands of sheep being sheared by other people, it was far harder than he ever anticipated.

At 16 he completed his first shearing course and set up his own contracting business.  He purchased a shearing trailer which was towed by his mother until he was able to drive.  Today, Nick’s business employs two shearers, and his girlfriend, Kate, who wraps the wool.  The team, shear in the region of 35,000 sheep each year across the Midlands.

Nick headed to New Zealand for his first shearing season aged 19 and has returned each year since.  Shearing has also taken him to Norway and Italy, experiencing their systems and techniques. To date, Nick has personally sheared approximately 100,000 sheep. 

Describing himself as a “very competitive person”, Nick took home his first shearing title at 19, winning the Intermediate Competition at his local show in Stafford.

His keen enthusiasm continues:  “For me, a shearing competition is the same as any sporting competition and my goal is to represent England in the World Championships in 2019.”

A man on a mission, he is determined and passionate, and willingly attributes much of his success to the support he has received from British Wool.

Established in 1950, British Wool strives to secure UK producers the best trade for their fleeces, and provides opportunities for learning and developing shearing skills to maximise returns.

It’s Seal accredited courses are run by instructors with 20-25 years’ experience.  Commenting on these, Nick said:  “I would not be where I am today without the help of British Wool and Hywel Jones, who mentored me for four years.  I learned the basics on courses held at our farm, a host farm; the importance of attention to detail, and adhering to the correct process.  I was then able to further expand and develop my knowledge and skills, which has been invaluable for both competitive shearing and building a successful contracting business”

“I have been taught to treat every day in the shed, shearing as a contractor, as practice for competitive shearing.  So, whether contract or competitive shearing, I always adhere to the same very high standards.”

Shearing is a key part of the process of harvesting and marketing wool and that is why British Wool continues to actively encourage young shearers to learn and develop this skill.   And, with more and more people completing the Blue, Bronze, Silver and Gold Seals each year, the future of shearing in the UK is certainly bright.

Representing around 40,000 producers, British Wool aims to bring stability to the wool market, and obtain the best possible price for the producer.  Its size means it can provide the support and collective voice that other agricultural sectors have lost.

The British Wool training courses run across the country from May to the end of July and details can be found online at www.britishwool.org.uk .

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