Sheepdog training from famed North shepherd Emma Gray

Shepherdess Emma Gray will be running weekly sheepdog training drop-in sessions starting this month at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus

Northumbrian shepherdess Emma Gray
Northumbrian shepherdess Emma Gray

Shepherdess Emma Gray will be running weekly sheepdog training drop-in sessions starting this month at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus.

Emma, who is herself a former Kirkley Hall student, last year became the first female winner of the Northumberland Sheepdog Trials League in its 40-year history and has also represented England in the International Sheepdog Trials.

The flexible training sessions she will be delivering will be run one afternoon per week and are open to anyone looking to train their sheepdog to manage livestock.

Dogs can be at any standard with little or no ability and people can choose to drop into one or more sessions depending on the training needs of the dog.

A third-generation farmer, 23-year-old Emma is an experienced shepherd who runs a remote 120-acre farm near Harwood in Northumberland National Park.

There she manages a flock of 150 sheep and a dozen head of cattle.

In November last year she appeared on ITV’s Tales from Northumberland presented by Robson Green.

Emma said: “By the time I was 17, I knew I wanted to work with dogs and with my faithful Border collie Bill in tow, I got a place on a specialised sheep management course at the Kirkley Hall campus.

“Then, after spending six months in New Zealand, I got a job at a farm in Northumberland, looking after 900 sheep before running my own farm from 2009.

“I’m delighted to be able to come back to Kirkley Hall campus to deliver sheepdog training and I am looking forward to passing on my shepherding skills to others.”

The sessions start at Kirkley Hall at the end of January. To find out more and book call 01670 841229 or email alison.gracey@northland.ac.uk

Northumberland College is the largest training provider in Northumberland.

The Kirkley Hall campus, in Ponteland, has a long-established history as the main provider of agricultural and land-based education and training in the region, stretching back more than 50 years.

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