Værlandet - Meet the Old Norse Sheep
Meet a farmer and her old Norse sheep in the heathlands of Værlandet and learn about this indigenous variety of Viking sheep.
Old Norse sheep almost became extinct in the 1950s, but thanks to good marketing of the Villsau sheep variety, the breed is now safe. You might see these beautiful sheep on the islands you pass along your journey. At Værlandet, you see the sheep and you can touch them. You can also buy yarn, hand-knitted wool products and sheep skins.
Since the Neolithic period, sheep farmers of the Norwegian coast have harmoniously coexisted with their environment. Over the past 5,000 years, strips of poorly cultivated land from the very south of Norway to Lofoten in the north, were transformed by burning vegetation and year-round grazing by Old Norse sheep. This prehistoric relationship nurtured a semi-natural ecosystem of heathland that could sustain human settlers. These beautiful heathlands today run along the Atlantic coast from Portugal to Lofoten in the north of Norway. Today 90% of Europe’s heathlands are gone and those remaining are classified as endangered. The heathlands in Værlandet are protected.