How William got into producing North Ronaldsay Sheep and why he chose this particular product
Rearing North Ronaldsay Sheep is in William’s blood, being the third generation of Muir who have been at his farm. The Muir’s are proud Orcadians (people from the Orkney Islands) and are dedicated to continuing the rich cultural and culinary heritage of the Orkney Islands, in particular North Ronaldsay. North Ronaldsay Sheep are an important part of the Island’s history, having been present on the island for over 5,000 years. They remain one of the rarest breeds in the World and William is driven by a desire to keep this legacy alive. He is determined that his North Ronaldsay Sheep remain as closely linked to their natural habitat on the Island as possible. In William’s words the sheep are “governed by the sun and the moon”. When the tides are low they go onto the beaches and feed on the seaweed and when they are high they return to higher pastures. This unique, natural link between the Island and the sheep, which has been present in North Ronaldsay for thousands of years, is what motivates William on a day to day basis. He is determined to ensure the North Ronaldsay Sheep remains as integral a part of the Island’s natural habitat as it has for the past 5,000 years. William is a dedicated member of the North Ronaldsay Trust.
The challenges that William is facing producing North Ronaldsay Sheep
The Island has a 13 1/2 km sheep dyke that separates the sheep from the sea when the tides are high. Recently a 3000 metre stretch of the wall was knocked down by the sea and it has been a challenge to rebuild it. Generous donations have meant part of the wall has been rebuilt but there is still a lot do. His sheep are an ancient breed and are not larger, with more meat like modern commercial breeds. As they are smaller and slower growing, both excellent qualities in a sheep, it remains a challenge for William to convince people to spend the extra money on meat that is of the highest quality
Products that William is offering
William offers a range of cuts from his North Ronaldsay Sheep. Phone for more details.
William’s favourite North Ronaldsay Sheep recipes
A Muir favourite cut of the sheep is the back leg. Slow roast it for 3 – 4 hours and you will see why William believes North Ronaldsay Sheep produce the best quality meat available.
Phone: 07703 112224 / 01857 633257
> ZDF Documentary – Heute in Europa “Seegras fressende Schafe” – November 2013 (in german)