Training Opportunities



Please contact Julia Stephenson and Charlotte Fletcher on 01833 641010 or email and for more information.

(Please remember we are closed on Wednesdays)

Computer Training

This training is being delivered during November and December by our usual trainer, Sarah Peart from Frosterley, who is an Accountant and farmer.  We would like to thank The Sir James Knott Trust for making funding available towards the cost.  Whilst most of the subject matter for the “Getting On Line  basic training has a farming theme, the skills and knowledge gained are enabling trainees to do lots of things online over a number of weeks, with sessions covering:

  1. How to get online – “What do I need to Know?”
  2. Online already & like to know more … How to send & receive e-mails including attachments (including managing e-mails when online e.g. using gmail)
  3. Using the “Whole Farm Approach” to access BCMS & VAT online & more (password required beforehand to access this service – instructions available prior to the course to facilitate this)
  4. How to submit VAT online using existing records for working out (or progressing to using Sarah’s Excel VAT training).

The more advanced 5 weeks training “VAT using Excel” enables trainees to learn how to input their farm payments and receipts into Sarah’s specially designed spreadsheet which calculates the amount of VAT to claim/payable each quarter.  Trainees also learn how to check formulae and lots of useful information relevant to VAT, with sessions running 4.15-6.45pm on Wednesdays. Trainees were able to start inputting data right from the first session by bringing along their own invoices and receipts.

The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme

UTASS are delighted to be partnering with The Prince’s Countryside Fund to deliver The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme. The aim of the programme is to support family farm businesses to improve their confidence, efficiency, and resilience. The programme has already started, with the first workshop planned for Monday 11th December – please contact Emma for further information (

Vehicle Training to Improve Employability

We would very much like to thank the Wellesley Trust Fund at The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland for the opportunity for young people to access driver training and to thank applicants too.  Unfortunately there were a lot more applications than spaces for the Trailer & Car Lessons, however due to this high demand, we applied to a second funder .  We are so grateful to The Hedley Foundation for providing more funding. Previous applicants for car lessons or trailer lessons need not reapply and they will all be contacted again by the middle of December to let them know the outcome.

If there are any new applicants who want to apply for Pre-Test Tractor, Quad Bike or Lantra 13-15 Tractor Driving, an Application Form can be downloaded by clicking on this link: or forms are available from the UTASS Office.

Funding for Weardale Rural Skills Training 

So far 45 trainee places have been part funded from WAP, which has also enabled other trainees to attend training courses locally as well:-

  • 12 for NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides training & assessment (2 days training)
  • 2 for the Semex DIY Artificial Insemination for Cattle (4 days training)
  • 4 for British Wool Marketing Board Sheep Shearing (2 days training)
  • 7 for Lantra Chainsaw (2 days training)
  • 4 for Trailer lessons in preparation for B+E Test
  • 6 for NPTC City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Land-based Forklift Truck Operations (Rough Terrain, Masted and Telescopic Types) (2 days training)
  • 8 for Emergency First Aid Training (1 days training fully funded)
  • 2 for Dry Stone Walling (3 day course held October 17 and pictured below)

We also have a few names for Chainsaw and Telehandler training and for the Emergency First Aid training. If you would like to apply please click on the following link:  WAP APPLICATION FORM  



Other Courses Available

NPTC Safe Use of Sheep Dip (course notified by John Jones Training at £220 at Westmorland County Showground – Tuesday 12th December training, with assessment the following day) – contact John Jones on 01768 898731

NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides (approx cost £350 for theory + Handheld or Mounted)-Plan to run this in early 2018.  In May ’17 another 10 trainees in total attended this training over three days at Middleton Mart, with assessments the following week. Our thanks go to Middleton Mart for the use of their facilities as a venue, alongside UTASS.                                                                                              

NPTC Rough Terrain Telescopic (approx cost £345) – A few requests have been received                                                                                                             

Lantra Award in Chainsaw Maintenance & Crosscutting – A few requests have been received                                                                                                             

NPTC Certificate of Competence for the Transport of Livestock (Cattle & Sheep) – contact John Jones on 01768 898731 (further details below)

Rodenticides please call our Office to request a copy of the AHDB publication “Rodent Control on Farms” booklet with details of how to access on line training and Lantra assessment, if required.

NPTC Level 2 Award in the Transport of Animals by Road (Short Journeys)  – Cattle & Sheep are classed as one species. Although no training is required, those interested will receive information to prepare beforehand.  Qualification handbook 600/0306/6 states ”This qualification is aimed specifically at people transporting animals over 65Km and up to eight hours in duration, where the journey is in connection with an economic activity”.  COC Transport Animals by Road Schedule

The above qualification ties in with requirements for a business to apply for an Animal Transporter Authorisation for the above journeys, which is free of charge.  This Animal Health and Plant Agency application form needs to be completed and returned to the Welfare in Transport Team at Carlisle and can be obtained from UTASS, or by accessing the link below:-

Guidance Notes on Transporter Authorisations

UK animal transporter: application for type 1 authorisation

Thank you!

Grateful thanks too, go for the team effort to make young people’s driver training possible – this time involving tractors & trailers kindly loaned by Watsons of Strand Foot; Karl, Loraine & Michael Robinson and Peter & Barbara Needham & Stuart Richardson and latterly to Jamie & Rosie Finch for hosting the Lantra training. Thanks too to all trainers involved with helping young people achieve their goals. The venue is usually provided by kind permission of Middleton in Teesdale Mart, with voluntary help from H & H Staff, community & UTASS Members much appreciated.