According to the NFU, almost 16% of UK sheep are now found in domestic environments, where they are routinely used to maintain garden lawns, furnish their owners with low-cost meat, milk and wool and provide useful employment for itinerant shearers after they have retired from football.

While some sheep find it difficult to adapt to town or city living, there are a number of breeds which do so with alacrity, including the Herdwick (which can also be used to make ornamental candles), the Cheviot Dibber (which can also be used to plant bulbs and onion sets) and the Sheepshank Redemption (which can also be used to dig tunnels and escape from high security prisons).

For a home with an average sized garden, a flock of 10 to 12 sheep will fulfil all the necessary functions and it also possible to house up to six in a conservatory, loft conversion or Juliet balcony, though yields of milk and meat will usually be some 35% lower than outdoor counterparts.

Many well-known people now keep sheep, including Pippa Middleton, Lewis Hamilton and Reeta Chakrabarti, whose prize-winning Wandsworth Fat-Tailed Shorthorns regularly present the wether forecast on the six o’clock news.