vertical photo of herdwick sheep on hillside in the english lake district england UK cumbria. The Herdwick is a variety of sheep typical to the mountainous Lake District, in North West England. They have a hard and resilient grey fleece, historically used as carpet wool; these carpets are sold under the auspices of the National Trust. The sheep are also favoured by farmers for their strong-flavoured meat. They are well adapted to the harsh terrain and climate in which they typically live. Most sheep spend winter on the fells. They are normally left to graze freely on the hillsides, but tend to stay in their heaf, the natural home to which the flock will return every year. The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001 led to the destruction of many flocks, and to fears for the survival both of the breed and of the typical lakeland sheep farming industry. The Cumbria Hill Sheep Initiative has been set up to "reassess the position and circumstances" in the aftermath of the disease. The reintroduction of many agricultural shows in the county should help to boost interest in the breed. The wool is also an excellent natural insulator - it is possible to buy sheets of fireproofed wool to fit as loft insulation.