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)

North Sheep, West Shields Farm, Tow Law DL13 4HN – Wednesday, 7th June

UTASS had a fantastic day at North Sheep with a number of staff and Trustees enjoying the opportunity to meet people and enjoy the event.  We were most grateful to have been given the opportunity of a free stand by the National Sheep Association.

BWMB 2 Day Shearing Course – Monday 3rd + Tues 4 July – Hill House, Woodland, Bishop Auckland. DL13 5RY

This year’s Shearing Course is at Hill House, Woodland by kind permission of Fay and John Hutchinson and the postponed date of 3.7.17 eventually dried up sufficiently to get shearing underway. Part funding will be available to eligible trainees from Weardale Action Partnership reducing the cost for two days by 50% and from John Warren ABP will also be funding remaining trainees.

Please see link for further details from British Wool’s website:

Funding for Weardale Rural Skills Training  (Application form downloadable from link below or from the Office)

Dry Stone Walling Training is coming up in Weardale with Lantra Trainer in October, again with part funding available to eligible trainees.  Spare places are available.

So far 12 trainees have been part funded by Weardale Action Partnership towards their NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides training & assessment, with more held last month; 2 for the Semex DIY Artificial Insemination for Cattle training; 4 for British Wool Marketing Board Sheep Shearing training; 7 for Lantra Chainsaw training and 3 have had funding for trailer lessons, with another two due to start shortly. Training for 6 trainees to do the NPTC City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Land-based Forklift Truck Operations (Rough Terrain, Masted and Telescopic Types) was held in September last year and again last month.  We have a few names for Chainsaw and Telehandler training.

Emergency First Aid Training, fully funded to Weardale funded trainees, was held at TCR in Barnard Castle in November, with two trainees attending this free course.  The feedback was excellent and a further free course has been arranged at the same venue for Friday, 18th August.

This part funding from Weardale Action Partnership, over two years, has been made available to farmers living or working in Weardale towards the cost of a wide range of rural skills, with a First Aid course being free of charge. Mostly accredited, training on offer includes Artificial Insemination for Cattle, Emergency First Aid at Work (outdoor related); British Wool Marketing Board shearing training, Car + Trailer driving lessons; NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides;  Forklift Truck Operations (Rough Terrain, Masted and Telescopic Types), Lantra Awards Technical Award in Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross-Cutting, as well as Drystone Walling.

The link to download an application form appears below, which also gives details of funded participants’ costs:


Vehicle Training to Improve Employability (Application form downloadable from link below or from UTASS)

We were delighted to hear that we have been awarded funding from the Wellesley Trust Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and we will be applying to this organisation again this month.  Evaluation forms with feedback from applicants who have received this funding have been brilliant, providing for car & trailer lessons, car driving lessons, quad bike or pre-test tractor training and Lantra 13-16 tractor driving.  Applicants were asked to demonstrate why they feel this training would be useful to them and to indicate how it would improve their career prospects or enable them to access training and employment opportunities outside their immediate area. All funding for trainees who returned their applications to UTASS by Wednesday, 31st August, 2016 has been allocated and if we are successful we hope to have a similar timescale this year. A form for future applications can be downloaded by clicking on this link: 


Grateful thanks go for the team effort to make 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.  The venue has been provided by kind permission of Middleton in Teesdale Farmers’ Mart, with voluntary help from H & H Staff, community & UTASS Members much appreciated.  Thanks too to Terry Maw, the Lantra trainer who has been delivering this excellent training for over 9 years and makes it such a enjoyable learning experience for the two trainees.

Our thanks go to previous funder The Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust, after 3 years of funding for this training.


Please call the UTASS Office to request a copy of the AHDB publication “Rodent Control on Farms” on 01833 641010.

The Rodenticide Stewardship Regime explained


Spray Training – held in May 2017

Last month another 10 trainees in total attended this training over three days for the NPTC Safe Use of Pesticides (PA route) at UTASS and Middleton Mart, with assessments the following week. Our thanks go to Middleton Mart for the use of their facilities as a venue, alongside UTASS.   Additional information regarding the Safe Use of Pesticides, Safe Use of Sheep Dip and other qualifications can be found at the bottom of this page.

For additional information regarding Use of Pesticides (Grandfather) PAGR 601/1338/1 see link below:

For additional information regarding NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides, see link below:

For additional information regarding Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Sheep Dips Assessment Schedule & HSE advice: (Advice to farmers and others dipping sheep)

NPTC Level 2 Award in the Transport of Animals by Road (Short Journeys)  – Cattle & Sheep are classed as one species.

If individuals want this qualification, please contact UTASS for signposting. Although no training is required, those interested will receive information to prepare beforehand (please see the link at the end of this section).  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 – please see the link to the Guidance Notes & Application form below (or contact us if you require a print out of any information mentioned in this section).