How does a farmer recognise his/her own sheep if they share a fell with another farmers' sheep?
Even though most hill-farmers know each individual ewe, (just as we would recognise different people), each sheep has a series of marks to identify the farm to which it belongs.
most obvious of these marks is a colour on the fleece of the sheep. It
might be a spot on the back, a stripe on the left shoulder, a letter T
on the side, or a combination of all three. The permutations are endless,
and every 5 years, a book called "The Shepherd's Guide" is published,
listing every mark from every hill farm in the UK. Because farms have
access to more than one fell or have been amalgamated into bigger units
over the years, some farms have more than one mark.