World Heritage would attract more thinking people, those who can look beyond the chocolate box picture to see the real people and issues. If it gives farmers a voice, that would be great.  We’re short of voices, speaking out voices, and World Heritage would give us an audience.

Meet Red Shepherdess, 4,500 Twitter followers, one of only 12 next generation ambassadors for the National Sheep Association and a woman going places.

Not bad for a 24-year-old townie turned farming zealot, fired by burning ambition to forge science, technology and tradition into an industry she says is on the up.

Hannah Jackson has not had it easy. Let’s face it, she is young, female with an accent wrought from the Wirral, not typical hallmarks of the earthy Cumbrian sheep farming fraternity.

On her 21-acre holding in the pastoral glory of Croglin, nestling between the Pennines and River Eden, she has, by sheer hard work and bloody-minded determination, made a name for herself.

Being taken seriously is the hardest thing, she admits. Jibes like: “It takes more than a few photos to turn a Scouser into a shepherd”, after featuring on the front page of a magazine, hurt.

Her Practical Guide to Lambing published by Farmland Magazine – after just three years in agriculture - brought enthusiastic reviews. The announcement of an ambassadorial role further cements her credibility as a sure-footed contracting shepherdess.

It was on a family camping holiday to Coniston in 2013 that Hannah first saw a lamb born. Her fate was sealed. She had a BSc in animal behaviour and was about to start a masters in marine biology – having spent time in Canada researching killer whales.

Returning from the Lake District to Wirral’s Bebington, she announced to her bemused family that there had been a career calling, she was going to be a farmer. It was the start of a dream, one which has seen knocks but no major dents.

 Long dubbed Dr Dolittle, she had always loved and wanted to work with animals. Swapping a comfortable lifestyle for the hard, relentless existence of a shepherdess did not surprise anyone who knew her.

I’m pretty sure I was born with this connection to animals and wildlife. When I saw that lamb born, there was a big bang, a flash of lightning, or whatever you want to call it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Read the rest of Hannah’s story here

Article by Karen Barden

Case Study image

Hannah Jackson is a young farmer and a member of the generation ambassadors for the National Sheep Association.