Love Lamb Week founder awarded major sheep sector award

Rachel Lumley began the Love Lamb campaign in 2015 (Photo: Jonathan Becker of Becker Photo)
Rachel Lumley began the Love Lamb campaign in 2015 (Photo: Jonathan Becker of Becker Photo)

Well-known sheep farmer Rachel Lumley, who passed away suddenly last year, has been announced as the posthumous winner of a major industry award for her contribution to the sector.

The Cumbrian farmer and passionate voice for lamb consumption was the driving force behind the now successful Love Lamb Week, which takes place ever year.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) awarded her the George Hedley Memorial Award, presented annually to those who have achieved an outstanding contribution to sheep farming.

Rachel, a Cumbrian producer who farmed near Penrith, passed away suddenly in July 2020.

Her family will receive a sculpted statuette of a South Country Cheviot sheep to recognise what she achieved.

Rachel began the Love Lamb campaign in 2015, reacting to falling lamb consumption and depressed lamb prices.

She recognised a strategically planned promotion was needed to encourage people to put British lamb back on their dinner plates.

Since then, the campaign has grown year on year with it now sitting firmly in the sheep farming calendar.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said Rachel was the driving force behind the campaign, wanting lamb to get the attention it deserves.

"Through her leadership, as well as solid external support, Love Lamb Week has caught the attention of top chefs from across the world, as well as national press and broadcast media.

"Rachel did a fantastic job in bringing the campaign to the notability it has today. All at NSA are proud to support and continue to build on the legacy Rachel started.”

As well as Love Lamb Week, Rachel was known as a former Secretary of the English Shearing Circuit and a competitive wool handler, representing England at the World Championships in 2017.

NSA Next Generation Ambassador Marie Prebble, who knew Rachel through their mutual interest in competitive shearing, said Rachel was 'one of a kind, a real gem'.

"Her bubbly personality made her well-known in the farming and shearing community" she added.

"She was a passionate advocate for British farming and a brilliant role model.”