This summer visitors (and locals) will get a chance to watch sheep dogs at work and learn more about farming on Dartmoor.
Each Thursday until the end of September, local farmers and champion sheepdog trainers Jed and Kenny Watson will be holding demonstrations on their farms at Postbridge on Dartmoor to show how they train their dogs for work and competitions.
Brothers Jed and Kenny have farmed on the moor all their life. As their sheep, cattle and ponies graze over many miles of open high moorland, their sheepdogs are not only constant companions, but also essential helpers whenever stock need moving.
Both have decades of experience in working sheepdogs, and Jed has competed at the highest level including as Captain of the English National Team at the World championships.
Being keen to share their knowledge not only of training sheepdogs, but also the joys and challenges of farming on Dartmoor, they are holding sheepdog demonstrations from 6.30pm each Thursday evening from now until the end of August and Thursday afternoons from 2.30pm during September. As well as seeing their dogs working and young dogs being trained, there will be plenty of chances to ask any questions you have about farming or training dogs.
No booking is required – just meet in the car park outside the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre at Postbridge (Postcode PL20 6TH). The fields are a few hundred metres walk along a rough track from the car park, so please wear suitable footwear and clothing for the weather conditions – remember even in the summer, the evenings on Dartmoor can be chilly. Well behaved dogs on leads are also welcome.
Thanks to the support of Dartmoor National Park’s Farming in Protected Landscapes Scheme, the events are free, but to help support the vital service it provides to both visitors and residents of Dartmoor there will be a collection for the Devon Air Ambulance.
Please tell your guests about these events, as if popular they will be run again next summer. You can share the event details from www.facebook.com/DartmoorSheepdogs or https://visitdartmoor.co.uk/events/working-sheepdog-demonstrations-two-men-and-their-dogs/var/ri-3.l-L1 . You can also pick up A4 and A5 posters from the Dartmoor Visitor centres or download a copy from here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C3o_pguSJlYF7IlUQ848AqBqo7VoTTVi/view?usp=sharing
If you have any questions (or suggestions) please contact Mark Owen at email@example.com
Photograph: Jed Watson working his sheepdogs. Photographer David Attwell