Wool & environmentally friendly gardening

Wool and gardening….. Really? Yup Really!
Fact, wool producers in the UK get paid very little money for wool produced every year. Getting wool from the field to the wool depots is not cost effective. Sheep owners give away the fleeces to shearers, burn them or just allow them to fester in a dark corner which is not environmentally friendly.
Garry (my husband) and I started with 6 Southdown ewe lambs 6 years ago. We now have a flock of 32 sheep. We graze on land in North Horsham. A hobby which has become a passion. Determined not to waste the gorgeous wool that our small flock of sheep produce every year, I researched online and found companies, crafters, art and design colleges to recycle the wool too. I did think about processing our wool for yarn and weaving. It would have cost me thousands of pounds so I went back to the drawing board.
What was simple, environmentally friendly, required little processing, cost effective and made good use of the natural qualities of wool. Wool and gardening!  And so evolved WOOL SHrED.

I contacted a farmer in America who was also looking at ways to use his wool for a garden product.I read blogs by gardeners from around the world and picked the brains of other sheep friends.  I trawled the Internet researching wool, who was using it, for what and where. I found there are so many good environmental reasons to use wool in the garden.
1. Renewable, sustainable and biodegradable
2. Water retention qualities
3. Slug, snail and weed repellent
4. Mulching
5. Wildlife, pet and child friendly
6. Pot & container lining
7. Soil Conditioning
8. Nesting material for wild birds
I gave wool to friends, neighbours and gardeners to try as my ‘Wooly Guinea Pigs’. Trials went well and feedback was positive.
Wool is natural and there are no guarantees, but it sure beats having to spend loads of money on different chemicals and gardening products which come in single use bags and containers.
It’s just a case of educating and encouraging gardeners to use it. The challenge begins!
Wool pellets are a viable business in the UK and US. What I’m doing with WOOL SHrED is supplying our flocks wool in a less processed format in an environmentally friendly way.  It is versatile, easy to handle and multifunctional.  We sell WOOL NEST which is nesting wool for wild birds.  It’s straight from the fields of North Horsham in Sussex to the gardens of the UK. Gardeners are buying WOOL SHrED for container lining, water retention, slug and snail repellent. The fact that it is pet, child and wildlife friendly is important.
WOOL SHrED comes in small or large hessian sacks which can be refilled or recycled.
WOOL SHrED has a Facebook page. Ideas and suggestions are posted onto the page.
WOOL SHrED is recognised as a British Wool Supporter by the Wool Board and by the Campaign for Wool.
WOOL SHrED is a member of the Green Growth Platform at Brighton University.The hope is to collaborate with another Green Growth business for product development in the near future.
I really hope the WOOLY message gets out to all adventurous and environmentally friendly gardeners.I want people to get passionate about using WOOL in their gardens.

Contributed by Fliss Lewis – WOOL SHrED

Facebook WOOL SHrED

Feeling inspired to get involved?

We are always looking for volunteers, so get in touch or come and meet us and see how you can get involved! Join us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or sign up to receive our latest news (it only takes two seconds to add your email address – simply click on black ‘Follow‘ tab on bottom right of this screen!). Feel free to also send us an email using our contact form, or come and say hello at our events like the Horsham Climate Cafe or the Horsham Repair Cafe!