NEMSA was formed by enthusiastic breeders in 1980 to publicise and promote the Mule to the benefit of both breeders and purchasers.

The Association set out to do this by mounting live demonstrations at shows throughout the country, with particular emphasis on lowland areas. Publicising the autumn sales of breeding stock at these events is backed up by adverts in the press and at auctions. A sales booklet is also published to assist buyers, a copy of which can easily be obtained by contacting the secretary (link through to contact page).

Quality assurance for purchasers was quickly identified as a requirement due to the false description at auction of some yearlings as North Country Mules, to the detriment of the breed’s reputation. To counter this, the decision was taken in 1987 to tag all Association lambs and ensure full traceability back to the farm of origin, for the benefit of buyers. At that time this was a bold step for a cross –breed association, and to this day all NEMSA lambs still carry the Association logo on their tag.

The Association is organised into nine branches and has some 1000 members. All active members contribute their time freely to help promote the breed, each branch undertaking to mount a display at one or more events. Everyone takes great pride in the quality of stock presented, and take pleasure in meeting old and new friends at these events and at the autumn sales. They also know the importance of the Mule to the survival of the hill and upland farms of northern England, and the need to ensure its continuing success.

The increasing interest in the North of England Mule has assured its place in every parish within the country. This medium sized cross-bred sheep, sired by the Bluefaced Leicester, has a Swaledale or Northumberland type Blackface dam. The latter two breeds born and reared on the northern fells and moors are noted for qualities of hardiness, thriftiness and longevity.

View our North of England Mule History Video below for more information!