A small West Cumbrian firm has won national backing for a unique product.

The Maryport-produced draught excluder, Chimney Sheep will now be recognised by building control, government departments, specifiers, and insurers as meeting the British Board of Agrememnt's standards of quality, safety and reliability; providing them with reassurance of the product's fitness for purpose.

Sally Phillips from Cockermouth, built her company in Maryport on the invention of the Chimney Sheep, a woollen draught excluder specifically made to fit up chimneys and flues.

The environmentally-friendly Chimney Seep, made of felted Herdwick wool, blocks off 94 per cent of airflow thereby conserving heat in the home. It is easily removable when it is time to light the fire again.

This year she has added a "raincoat" for a clothes line to her innovative designs. This allows washing to remain outside and dry even during showers.

Ms Phillips was presented with the BBA certificate at this year;s Futurebuild Show in London, following several years of rigorous product testing.

Seen throughout the world as a credible industry body and known to be independent, rigorous and trusted, the BBA certification is awarded only after a product has passed a series of comprehensive assessments. The Chimney Sheep® has been through numerous laboratory tests, on-site evaluations,

quality management checks and product inspections, over several years, passing all the assessments to gain the award.

"This has been a culmination of five years’ works and is such a huge achievement for us. The BBA certification will open us up to lots of opportunities as it will demonstrate to the market-place that the Chimney Sheep is both safe and fit-for-purpose.

"I really believe that this marks the beginning of the next stage of the business by making the product more mainstream and hopefully allowing us to be incorporated not just into consumer homes but also as part of corporate eco-obligations,” Ms Phillips said.

Wendy Ajuwon from the BBA added: "We are very pleased that we could help Chimney Sweep Ltd achieve certification for their new innovation.

"At the BBA we are passionate about helping companies grow their technologies and helping them gain market acceptance, and as such look forward to the continued success of Chimney Sheep Ltd."

A regular six monthly inspection will be carried out at Chimney Sheep.

BBA is a national body ssuing certificates for construction products and systems and providing inspection services in support of their designers and installers.