Chimneys and more. Chimney Sheep

Few company names capture the essence of a business quite so succinctly or wittily as Chimney Sheep. Founded in 2012 by Sally Phillips, its major product is a draught excluder - made from the wool of Lakeland’s iconic breed of sheep, the Herdwick - which is placed in a chimney and then easily removed when the fire is lit. 

‘It keeps the heat in and the cold out, so reducing your heating bills and your carbon footprint,’ says Sally whose business collects the wool from some 20,000 Herdwick sheep a year, equating to about a fifth of the breed’s UK population.

Chimney Sheep also sells sheep wool insulation, ’natural and environmentally friendly’ garden products and eco-friendly laundry products. About 20% of its profits then go towards a community interest company called Buy Land, Plant Trees

This means that at one end the business is buying direct from farmers and rescuing wool that might otherwise get burnt or thrown away and at the other end growing trees on what Sally describes as ‘agriculturally poor’ land, to help combat climate change and provide habitats for wildlife.

Sally’s interest in chimneys was sparked many years ago through her voluntary work with the Cumberland Bat Group, checking chimneys and advising householders on how to avoid disturbing bats, a protected species. 

The experience led her to consider ways of reducing heat loss up all the open chimneys she came across and so the idea of using a chunk of wool on the end of a handle to fill the gap was born.

Today the Chimney Sheep comes in different shapes and sizes and is made of stiffened wool felt, ‘durability and breathability’ the great properties of Herdwick wool, says Sally. 

The draught excluder may catch the eye but her other products - such as the 100% wool insulation, the jute mulch mats, the felt shillies for garden mulching, snug feet wool insoles, the eco-friendly laundry products, the bird boxes and organic sheep wool pellets - are a natural progression, ’combining our love for trees and all things gardening with our passion for natural and environmentally friendly products.’

Chimney Sheep, 25a Solway Trading Estate, Maryport CA15 8NF: 01900 269427,

Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.