Pupils set to ‘Take the Lead’

Sheepworrying is on the increase.
Sheepworrying is on the increase.

As part of an ongoing initiative to raise awareness of the horror of sheep worrying by dogs, the National Sheep Association (NSA) is delighted to have teamed up with Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) and Farmers Guardian to take the message into UK classrooms.

As part of the Take the Lead campaign to promote responsible dog ownership and cut the number of attacks on sheep, NSA and Farmers Guardian have developed a package of educational materials for primary schools. The tools focus on sheep farming in general, not just the problem of dog worrying, and can be used by teachers to increase understanding of the role of sheep in the countryside and the food chain. They can also be used by sheep farmers if they are invited into local schools to talk about the job they do on farm.

Thanks to FACE’s Countryside Classroom initiative, more than 25,000 pupils in 750 schools will now have opportunity to be taught about the impact of dog attacks on livestock and the importance of keeping the family pet under control around farm animals. Schools are expected to use the resources as part of their syllabus from September.

The tool kit includes interactive video clips and children will also be given ‘I always take the lead’ stickers, intended to help strike up conversations with their families when they return home.

Dan Corlett, FACE chief executive, said: “We are very pleased to be part of the Take the Lead campaign. Sheep worrying by dogs is a really important issue for farmers and we hope the campaign will lead to a reduction in avoidable harm to sheep. For us it also presents a great opportunity to engage more school children in learning about and protecting the countryside.

“As a result, more children will get connected to nature, understand where their food comes from and become more confident, informed citizens.”

A proposed merger between FACE and Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) will create even greater opportunities for educating and engaging the public.