At Gostwyck we believe that the most important part of growing wool is to care for the sheep and the environment. As such environmental sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do.
Using time controlled grazing techniques we mimic the natural movement of the flock, ensuring that pastures are never too short and that they have ample time to rest. This maintains ground cover, allows root systems to develop and fosters growth in soil biology.
Maintaining ground cover protects the soil from erosion by wind and rain. Both wind and rain can strip the ground of vital top soil, at the same time muddying and polluting watercourses. Retaining ground cover allows the top soil to develop and produces clear water run-off.
For similar reasons we do not water stock on river banks, preferring instead to provide troughs for the sheep to drink from. This is both safer for the sheep and better for the environment. By keeping sheep away from the riverbank we ensure that the rivers and streams on Gostwyck are kept free from excrement and excess mud, stirred up by sheep drinking.
Another advantage of retaining length in the pasture is increased carbon sequestration. Longer pastures remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, storing carbon in the plants and in the soil. In turn this additional carbon in the soil feeds the soil biology that is necessary for a healthy ecosystem.
The use of natural methods to promote pasture growth also removes the need for artificial fertilisers, reducing the use of chemicals that can be harmful to animals and the ecosystem.
Finally, while henry and grace merino will last for years if stored properly, being a natural fibre it is also naturally biodegradable.