Jane Cooper

176.  “The Lost Flock” Author Jane Cooper on Saving Scotland’s Sheep 

Wool is one of the oldest known materials used for textiles. As a renewable resource with a potential for mitigating climate change, we love to highlight wool in our exploration of sustainable living here on this show. Our guest today is Jane Cooper whose passion for knitting led her to search for a rare-breed sheep and their distinctive wool. In her book, “The Lost Flock: Rare Wool, Wild Isles and One Woman's Journey to Save Scotland's Original Sheep”, Jane tells the story of the remarkable and rare little horned sheep, known as the Orkney Boreray, and how she moved to one of Scotland’s wildest islands to save them. Finding she was the sole custodian of this lost flock she began investigating their mysterious and ancient history, tracking down the origins of the Boreray breed and its significance to Scotland's natural heritage.From Viking times to Highland crofts and nefarious research experiments in Edinburgh, this is a so-far untold real-life detective story. Join us as we follow Jane’s journey in securing a future for her beloved sheep, and along the way, how she reveals their deep connection to the Scottish landscape. 

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPodchaserPodtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed

· The Many Uses of Wool

· Scotland’s Islands & Mainland

· Boreray Sheep

· The Orkney Boreray Community

· Mutton

· Growing Up with a Love of Nature

· Northern European Short-Tailed Sheep

· Life as a Sheep Breeder

· Scottish Sheep Culture: Clothing, Bedding, Milk, Cheese, Sustenance, and Farms

· Rooing Fleece

· The History of Vikings and Sheep (and their Woven Wool Sails)

· The Process of Wool Weaving

· Wool & Felt

· Bast Fibers

· Why Modern Farmers Need to Shear Sheep

· Endangered Sheep Breeds

· Wool Sack for the 20212 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London

· Living on a Scottish Island

· Being a Custodian of the Gene

· Sustainable Fibers

· Living with the Rhythm of the Seasons

· The Highland Clearances of Dunface Sheep

Episode Resources:

· Join Us in The ALMANAC

· Shop Our Wool

· Listen to The Good Dirt "Your Mattress, Your Health: Regenerative Bedding with Holy Lamb Organics' Jason Schaefer”

· Listen to The Good Dirt “A Passion for Wool: What’s Behind a Sustainable Supply Chain with Lani Estill”

· Listen to The Good Dirt “Regenerative Practices in Textile Production with Jeanne Carver of Shaniko Wool Co.”

· Listen to The Good Dirt “No Fluff: The Inside Info On Wool Insulation with Andrew Legge of Havelock Wool”

· Read Jane Cooper’s “The Lost Flock: Rare Wool, Wild Isles and One Woman's Journey to Save Scotland's Original Sheep”

· Read Charles Darwin’s “The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms”

· Read Gabe Brown’s “Dirt to Soil: One Family's Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture”

Connect with Jane Cooper:

· Wool Sack Website: http://www.woolsack.org/

· Orkney Boreray Website: https://orkneyboreray.com/

· Instagram @orkneyboreray: https://www.instagram.com/orkneyboreray/


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Original music by John Kingsley. Editing and podcast production by Fast Forward Production.