Wovember Words #15

Today’s Wovember Word was brought to my attention by Cecilia Hewett.

Hefting (or heafing) – the instinct in some sheep breeds of keeping to a certain heft (a small local area) throughout their lives. Allows different farmers in an extensive landscape such as moorland to graze different areas without the need for fences, each ewe remaining on her particular area. Lambs usually learn their heft from their mothers.



Image submitted to the Wovember 2012 Gallery by  and © Ros Steven

There is a beautiful short film, HEFTED, commissioned by Eden Arts as a companion piece to their FLOCK project. The accompanying notes say: “Have you ever wondered how the flocks of sheep on the fells are separated from one another by the farmers without using walls and fences? A HEFTED flock is one that stays in the same place. The HEFTED sheep simply don’t wander far from where they were born, it is as if they belong to that piece of land. We were inspired by this notion and it made us think about how people are HEFTED too. This film explores that theme.”

This entry was posted by tomofholland.

One thought on “Wovember Words #15

  1. Hefting is a great word and such an interesting concept.

    I am enjoying this blog immensely. You might be interested in an paper on how shepherds in the Scottish Borders create relationships with the hills, essentially making places through their traversing of the hills everyday caring for the sheep. The paper is called Open Spaces and Dwelling Places by John Gray, in The Anthropology of Space and Place, S. Low & D. Lawrence, 2003

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