Young shearers attend training course at Settle Farm

June 22, 2009 - United Kingdom

Aspiring sheep shearers gathered at Borrins Farm, Settle, North Yorkshire for a shearing training day organised by the British Wool Marketing Board – one of a nationwide programme of shearing training events now underway and attracting a surge of interest this year.

And anyone from Yorkshire or Humberside undertaking sheep shearing training on one of the Wool Board’s courses in the coming months will have the cost partly met through £61,000 worth of new funding secured by the BWMB.

British Wool Marketing Board shearing instructor Richard Schofield from Tosside, near Settle said he was “greatly encouraged” by the increased interest being shown in shearing this season.

“Sheep shearing is a skill that’s always been in demand and even more so these days – and it’s not just providing a useful source of income for part of the year for those who can offer the service.

“Sheep shearing helps a lot of young people to travel abroad. They can earn money and do some travelling if they take up opportunities to shear in New Zealand and Australia - and now even in Iceland and Norway,” said Richard.

This year has seen a shortage of shearers, particularly in the south of England – a situation that has made sheep farmers in the south encourage northern-based shearers to “head south” for part of the season to meet the demand.

The two-day Settle training course was kindly hosted by John and Ruth Dugdale who run a flock of Lleyn ewes alongside a dairy herd.