top of page

The Dartmoor Shepherd

Tucked away just off the A382 that runs from Okehampton to Mortenhampstead, is the charming little town of Chagford.  In some ways, it's like turning back the clock - Chagford has a rich history dating back to medieval times, and this is apparent everywhere.    We recently visited the town and stumbled upon The Dartmoor Shepherd.  

Just off the square in the centre of Chagford, The Dartmoor Shepherd shop oozes the rustic beauty found in natural materials.  They have a lovely range of homewares, all made by hand in the farm studio, from sheepskin (a natural bi-product of their mutton and hogget).  

Here are a few photos we took when we were there. Read on for their story and a link to their website.

Inside the Dartmoor Shepherd shop in Chagford

The Dartmoor Shepherd is owned by Lewis Steer and Flora Searson. You can read their story here...

For as long as he can remember Lewis Steer always wanted to be a farmer, however, not coming from a farming background this proved a real challenge, especially with no family farm, equipment and rented land in short supply. As a reward for doing well in his GCSE's Lewis was given three Greyface Dartmoor ewes by his parents, which he kept on their smallholding of 13 acres in Devon.

Believing he couldn't break into the farming industry, Lewis headed to The Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester to attain a degree in Land Agency. Whilst at Cirencester he started to build up his flock of rare breed Dartmoor sheep and frequently travelled home to Devon to tend them.

Flora Searson grew up in Chagford, Dartmoor. Although Flora grew up loving the outdoors and spending countless summers playing on Dartmoor farms with her childhood friends she never considered being a farmer herself. Whilst at secondary school she developed a flare for media and marketing which she pursued by attaining a degree in Creative Media Practice at Bath Spa University. Whilst studying, Flora made frequent trips home to Dartmoor where she slowly began to learn the ancient craft of shepherding by helping Lewis with his expanding flocks, she quickly became hooked. Having met in a small cafe in Chagford and then attending different Universities, Lewis and Flora were desperate to return to Devon to make their farming dream a reality.

They left university in 2016 turning down job offers to create a local farm company that supported the rare breed Dartmoor sheep they had come to love, and so The Dartmoor Shepherd came into being.

As their flocks expanded they needed to start renting more land on Dartmoor. Having not come into farming the traditional way Lewis and Flora had to approach it completely differently by diversifying. Instead of selling their lamb to a livestock market they decided to sell direct to the public. They are passionate about local, ethical food and want to enlighten people with the importance and wondrous qualities of wool again, by allowing people to buy direct from the shepherds.

They began using the unique sheepskin rugs from their rare breed flocks (a bi-product of their hogget and mutton) to make into products, which they now sell online, in their shop in Chagford and at shows and events across the country. In 2021 they completed the building works for their Workshop and Woolshed on some of their rented land, thanks to supportive landlords and an RDPE grant. The team has now grown to 5 people who work on the farm, in the shop and stitch the products.

In recent years after reading many books such as Dirt to Soil and Rooted, they have become obsessed with the regenerative farming movement. To find out more about their regenerative journey visit their website.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page