North Atlantic Native Sheep and Wool Conference

Recipient: Nicky Pattinson

Shetlanders examining a loaghtan fleece

The conference has initiated an island wide debate on the status and value of our native breed of sheep. The exhibition and craft fair in Laxey in particular has brought the Loaghtan to the fore with some beautiful work.

The large number of delegates from all four quarters of the globe brought a considerable economic value and showed hoteliers a new niche market, those interested in craft, agricultural heritage and loaghtan meat. These visitors intend to return.

The UCM was also involved in a fashion show. Students worked with International designers work, their own creations and staged a fantastic show. Hair and Beauty, Media (with Ballakermeen), Catering and the Art department all contributed to a most professional show and exhibition.

The conference has also sparked interest at government level and a report on the marketing, value and ways forward for the loaghtan has been commissioned as a result of the conference. This could have implications for not only tourism, but for employment and the heritage of the Island, too.

Underwriting was provided for this event.