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They probably first came from the mountains of central Asia, but domesticated descendants are reared worldwide for meat, wool, milk and cheese. Over 50 varieties have evolved in Britain, but only a few are now concentrated on commercially.. they can be divided into three groups - Uplands breeds; shortwool and longwool. In 1989 there were 41 million sheep in Britain. See 'Rare Breed Survival Trust'; 'Sheep; Upland varieties'; 'Sheep; shortwool varieties'; 'Sheep; longwool varieties'