Herdwick A Portrait of Lakeland Come Share A Journey With Me And Discover The Herdwick's Mountain Kingdom. Classic Edition - £135.00Anniversary Edition - £200.00


The most beautiful Lake District book ever.

A genuinely honest labour of love, a project which has encompassed years of camera work and dedication to create this meticulously crafted and beautifully imagined work of art. A breed as noble as the Herdwick deserves no less.

275 personally selected photographs - evenly divided between landscape and the Herdwick, 'the little grey monarch of the fells'. Sourced from all five years of Ian's quest to seek out the Lakeland of old. Beautifully laid out in majestic book form, Ian distils his remarkable collection of work for us into one notional year. He leads us through the changing seasons and narrates for us, in photographs, a year in the Lake District.

“In order to preserve what we have, I believe it is important to reveal what we are losing.”

Choose your edition


Classic Edition - £135.00

Ian Lawson - Herdwick Classic Book Cover


A Portrait of Lakeland
Classic Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 275 full-plate photographs. 12,000 word text. Covered in ‘Herdwick Grey’ Shantung book cloth with matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Ribbon marker. Presented in a full colour slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos.

Classic Edition & Slipcase £135.00

Herdwick is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.


Anniversary Edition - £200.00


A Portrait of Lakeland
Anniversary Edition

34cm x 29cm, 432pp, 275 full-plate photographs. 12,000 word text. Shares the same picture content with Classic Edition. Covered in luxury ‘Raddle Red’ Colibri book cloth with matt silver foiling and de-bossing. Special end-papers. Ribbon marker. Presented in a unique velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 5 kilos..

Comes with a signed 8pp. story-book card celebrating 100 years of the Herdwick Breed Society. Edition Limited to 200 copies on this print-run.

Anniversary Edition & Slipcase £200.00

Herdwick is available to buy through our website. Purchased copies can be distributed worldwide from here in the UK and are packaged in bespoke shipping boxes to arrive in your hands in perfect condition whatever your location.

Anniversary Edition 1916-2016

A unique commemorative edition celebrating 100 years of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association. This very special book recognises their members dedication and commitment to protecting Herdwicks past, present and future. Let us hope for many years to come the Herdwick flocks on the fells still roam.

‘Our members sustain and uphold the cultural traditions of the Lake District that have made it the most loved of English landscapes. Because of the importance of our cultural tradition to this landscape we believe that it needs to be better understood, respected, and supported. Without hill farmers, the cultural landscape is a body without a beating heart.’

Amanda Carson HSBA


Look Inside

A daily meditation on the changing seasons of Lakeland

While an online perusal of Herdwick in no way compares to the physical joy of holding and reading Ian's beautiful work in one's hands and directly experiencing the tactility, vibrant colour and sheer quality of the book, we nonetheless want to give you some semblance of the images, words and design in a virtual fashion before you decide to take possession of a copy yourself. From the comfort of your computer you can turn the leaves of over 90 plates and pages, allowing you a brief look inside without having to commit yourself to buy. Enjoy a limited selection of digitally replicated chapters taken directly from the book, elegantly displayed on your desktop or mobile screen.

There are another 340 pages of inspirational photographs still to discover!


The Project

Focussing on the iconic herdwick sheep of the lake district fells.

“I want people to share what I love. I didn't start this project anticipating that I could stop the Herdwick Lakeland world from changing. I purely wanted to create a visual document that reminds us and generations to come of how beautiful the Lakeland landscape once was. A book of suggestion, a landscape of my imagination as well as a record of a real and familiar place.”

‘Before I began visiting the hidden valleys of English Lakeland with my camera, my understanding of what it means to live a life regulated by the slow procession of the seasons was limited. In a technological age, the life of a Herdwick shepherd can seem anachronistic, but five years spent observing these men and women at work has taught me that this is not so. Theirs is not a life lived out of time, but rather one deeply attuned to the rhythms underpinning our very existence on this planet. I wanted to capture their time-honoured traditions; an aesthetic photographic document that would be an irreplaceable record of a fast disappearing world to inspire others to take notice of what is at stake for us all.’

The Lake District Book

Herdwicks & The Lake District

1000 years of togetherness.


Spirit & Stock

Rooted in the Elements

“I have romantic, old-fashioned views about the landscapes I photograph... I love to see people going about their time-served ways, I like to hear what they have to say, what they feel and experience in their lives and most importantly, what the place means to them. This is, in essence, what Herdwick is all about.”

Ian Lawson's Herdwick presents one of England's finest working landscapes in a superb quality volume. Accompanied by stories full of local colour and sheer grit from celebrated Lakeland authors, this outstanding book recognises and honours traditional farming communities, their deep-rooted knowledge of the natural world and their low-impact lifestyles. A notional year in the iconic English Lakeland is narrated through sweeping landscapes and intimate portraits of hard-working shepherds and their flocks of doughty Herdwick sheep. Returning to the Lake District later in life, Ian feared that the Old Lakeland of his youth had all but vanished. But hidden in the valleys and dale-heads of Cumberland and Westmorland, he discovered places where the ancient cycle of the traditional farming year had continued virtually unchanged for centuries. Five years dedicated observation and engagement in the daily working lives of Herdwick shepherds and their families has succeeded in revealing aspects of Britain's cultural heritage seldom exposed to the public eye. Herdwick will be cherished by everyone who seeks to understand and preserve Lakeland's unique character in a rapidly changing world.


Shepherds, Sheep & Heft

Local Distinctiveness.

HRH Prince Charles

A Special Relationship

“...through the stunning photographs, the interconnectedness of the Herdwick sheep with those who manage and care for them and with the Fells of the Lake District is explained more succinctly than a book of a thousand pages.”

“I pray that this book will not only bring great enjoyment and pleasure to those who love the Lake District, but will also help change perceptions of what is truly valuable and so create an understanding that the Herdwick carries on its back not just the history of the Fells, but its future too.”

HRH Prince Charles Ian Lawson Prince Charles

HRH Prince Charles

Excerpt from Foreword - Herdwick A Portrait of Lakeland Photographs from Prince Charle's private view - Ian Lawson's 2015 Herdwick Exhibition @ Rheged, Cumbria.

Herdwick Landscape

The Combined Works of Nature and Man

A culturally rich landscape.

Beatrix Potter

Her Legacy Lives On

‘Beatrix Potter moved to Lakeland and it completely changed her life. She fell in love with Herdwicks and devoted her life to protecting their future. I have spent the last five years photographing them with the same objective.’

Beatrix Potter had three successful careers. She was a story-teller, a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep, and a visionary conservationist. More than 4,000 acres of land in the Lake District have been preserved, along with the way of life of the people who farm them, because of her efforts - AND the money earned by Peter, Jemima and Samuel Whiskers. She was remarkable all the way through.

Photo: Beatrix with her shepherd, Tom Storey and their prize-winning Herdwick ewe.

Sheep Stock

Stock passed from Father to Son

These fell farms must live on

Lake District Luxury

Outside of Time

Slow grown Herdwick


The photographs depict a classic vision of old Lakeland, a last glimpse of a fast disappearing world, the Lake District as it still is in very few places.

‘I have often asked myself what it is about the Herdwick breed I admire so much.’

Perhaps it is their soul-searching eyes or their friendly faces. It could be their woolly grey coats or their look of stolid resignation. Of one thing I am sure, however: Herdwicks make great subjects for a photographer, each one a character with a host of expressions calculated to turn the casual observer into a lifelong fan. Whenever I think of Herdwicks, I picture Wasdale, Eskdale, Buttermere and Borrowdale, the true Heartlands of Lakeland. In these places, the stoical Herdwick always looks just right in the mountains, head to the wind in the foulest of weather.

Herdwick Sheep
Herdwick Guardians

Guardians of a Cherished Landscape

Traditions worth defending in our rapidly changing world.


Love Lakeland

With 275 inspirational photographs that bring the Herdwick's kingdom to life, owning Ian's Lake District book allows you to enjoy this cherished landscape all year round!.

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2014 Editions

Beatrix Potter Limited Edition - Classic - Special Edition

Herdwick First Editions