I was almost taken in by the claims of on a soft toy "born in the English Lake District and inspired by our lovable Herdwick sheep". Herdy, I was told, "will find a place in your heart". I think not, although I was not the owner of the toy in question, and there were no comments complaints from the youngster who was.
The label on the toy says: "We design and create unique, contemporary, (sic) gift and homeware made to make you smile. We support sustainable rural community projects through the herdy fund." All this made me think that the toy had been made in the Lakes – in some thriving rural enterprise, or an actual cottage industry, perhaps – and had Herdwick wool in it. Alas, it's not so: it's all polyester (as one sniff will tell you), and made in Sri Lanka.
I should have smelled a rat when I read the patronising descriptor "lovable". Whatever these super-hardy, rugged creatures are, it's not that. It's almost enough to make you a re-wilder.