Sheep worrying is something we hear about occasionally through the media but we don't usually know much about it or even take much notice. Yet sheep worrying has a devastating effect not only on the animals but also on the farmers who care for them.
Produced by Farming And Countryside Education in partnership with Farmers Guardian and the National Sheep Association, "Take the Lead" provides a package of educational information and activities so that pupils can learn more about sheep and their important role and use some of the fun resources before being introduced to the topic of sheep worrying. We hope that in this way children will become ambassadors for “Take the Lead”, spreading the message to friends and family of the importance of keeping dogs on the lead when out walking near sheep in the countryside.
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. Resources focus on sheep farming in general, not just the problem of sheep worrying, and can be used to increase understanding of the role of sheep in the countryside and the food chain. Teachers may also wish to invite sheep farmers into local schools to talk about the job they do on farm and talk first-hand about how important it is for dogs to be kept on a lead around their sheep.