Episode 54: Rachael Harrop


by Rodney Wilson


Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good, Rachael Harrop

Rachael Harrop talks about agriculture in the Isle of Man, the Manx Wildlife Trust, rare British sheep and more.

Get to know the Isle of Man, a Crown Dependency island in the Irish Sea, which is the only UNESCO Biosphere Nation in the world (but is more famous for its TT motorcycle road races). Hear about how Rachael started raising rare British Teeswater sheep, which she grazes in a community orchard in Patrick and keeps for their wool. Learn about her breeding program, how to select sheep for their fiber, and the challenges of maintaining a flock on a small island. Rachael also talks about her family’s fiber arts, Willing Heart Wool, their wood processing and natural dying.

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Hear about the Manx Wildlife Trust and its partnership with the Isle of Man government to manage the Agri-Environment Scheme, enabling farmers to work better with wildlife. After just two years, 69 percent of farmland on the island is enrolled in the program—which is 49 percent of all land on the island! Forty-three initiatives put forth by the program, plus those suggested by farmers for their own land, offer farmers payments for farm-management projects that benefit conservation on the island. Rachael talks about some of the farm-management projects and some of the wildlife—including fungi!—being protected through the Agri-Environment Scheme.

Listen to the end to hear about Rachael’s hopes for the future of farming in Isle of Man and her favorite all-Manx—meaning from the Isle of Man—meal.


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