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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 12:03 GMT
Farmer amazed by 'woolly mammoth'
Big friendly giant Griff towers above five-year-old Sam
A Yorkshire farm has raised one of the biggest sheep in the country - weighing in at an incredible 20 stone (127kg).

And five-year-old Griff the giant Oxford Down ram is still growing.

Farmer Jean Richardson said: "Oxford Downs are the biggest breed in Britain. We've never seen one as big has him and he's getting bigger by the hour!"

The "woolly mammoth", as he is known by locals in Leven, East Yorkshire, is the stock ram of the third oldest sheep flock in the British Isles.

A continuous line of ewes has been bred by the Richardson family at Lamplough's Farm since 1898.

"So Griff's doing a great job keeping up the tradition," said Mrs Richardson.

"He's quite a character and really very tame despite his size."

So tame in fact that Jean's grandchildren, five-year-old Sam and eight-year-old Rachel can often be found riding around the fields on Griff's back.

"The kids love him," said Mrs Richardson, "and he's become quite a celebrity round here."

Griff, who has been stock ram for the last two years, has another year of siring duties ahead of him before he must be replaced to avoid in-breeding in the pedigree flock.

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