Shepherdess to train others in her sheepdog skills

Northumbrian shepherdess  Emma Gray
Northumbrian shepherdess Emma Gray

An award-winning shepherdess is going back to her roots to provide drop-in sheepdog training sessions.

Emma Gray, who runs her own farm in Harwood Forest, will start the sessions at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall this month.

And for Emma, it will be a return to the place which helped her become successful as she is a former Kirkley Hall student.

Last year, the 23-year-old 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, Emma is an extremely experienced shepherd who runs a remote 120-acre farm in Northumberland’s beautiful National Park, managing 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 sheepdog training sessions start at the Kirkley Hall campus at the end of January and will cost £20 per session. To find out more and book call 01670 841229 or email

For more about Kirkley Hall see