CLOSE SHAVE: Instructor Bill Mason demonstrates how to shear a sheep, watched by Ryan Henderson, Jack Hutchinson, Jack Maddison and Peter Medd
CLOSE SHAVE: Instructor Bill Mason demonstrates how to shear a sheep, watched by Ryan Henderson, Jack Hutchinson, Jack Maddison and Peter Medd

A SHEEP sheering course held in Teesdale is to appear on Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet.

A record number of young people aged between 15 and 21 signed up for the training organised by Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (Utass) at the end of June.

Some 14 trainees attended the courses over three days which was presented by British Wool trainers Bill Mason and Richard Schofield.

Utass training co-ordinator Julia Stephenson said several of the trainees had attended before and were using the opportunity to brush up on their skills and improve their proficiency levels.

Depending on their skills sheep shearers earn blue, bronze, silver or gold gradings.

Mrs Stephenson said: “Bill is shearing step-by-step and making some deliberate mistakes to see if the trainees pick it up.”

This is the 14th year that Utass has arranged the training.

Mr Mason said he was impressed with the skills the trainees had picked up, particularly those who were attending for the first time.

He said: “There are two lads who have never shorn before and they are coming along very well.”

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An unusual event this year was the arrival of a film crew from the television programme The Yorkshire Vet, which was following Laura Beaton, from York, who had signed up for the course.

Filming took place on Wednesday, June 27.

Several of the trainees said they would use their skills to gain contract work over the summer.

Ryan Henderson, from Bishop Auckland, signed up for the course because he wants to help his grandfather who has about 60 sheep.

He said: “He wasn’t well. He had a stroke so obviously he needs a hand.

“My grandad showed me how he does it. The way he has been teaching me is way harder.

“Now I can show him a thing or two,” he added.

“It is handy to know and I can get work from it. Knowledge is power.”

Although Mr Henderson is a builder by trade, he hopes to use his new found skills to get additional contract work.