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Woolly Waste – Now supplying Riverford Organics and ready for business!

( Last Updated: 24-06-2009 )

Val Grainger (aka The Woolly Shepherd) has 30 years experience keeping sheep, and her mission in life is to find uses for their fleece - the ultimate renewable resource which is grown every year.  With rising costs and a fleece price not much more than it was in the 1950s, shearing is nearly always a loss making exercise.

Val has sourced traditional machinery from all over the world to set up her new enterprise ‘Woolly Waste' at Dunkeswell, near Honiton, providing a market for small producers of fleece and she has received grant aid from Leader+, DRR, and The Blackdown Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund to establish the facility.

The fleece is first washed in large machines, using water heated by solar panels and environmentally friendly detergents.  Once put through a drier it is fed through the 'Fearnought' - a picking machine, which fluffs up the
fibres and is then processed through a large carder.

The most exciting development has been the production of insulated packaging, which Woolly Waste is now producing for Riverford Organics meat boxes. Val has also started supplying recycled locally made wooden boxes complete with wool liners for farmers markets - replacing polystyrene boxes.

Riverford Meat Box featuring Wool Insulation

Val said: "Wooly Waste will also be able to bridge a gap by providing washing and felting services to smallholders who want to use their own fleece to make anything from hats to insulation material."

There is to be an open day on the 25th June for anyone interested in: producing felt from fleece, insulated boxes, future open days or information on renting the facilities.

Contact Val at Woolly Waste Tel 07857 670092 info@woollyshepherd.co.uk

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