NSA North Sheep 2023 to Showcase Traditional Northumbrian Farm
Venue announced for one of the UK’s most important sheep industry’s events
The National Sheep Association (NSA) has announced that one of the UK Sheep industry’s main biennial events, NSA North Sheep, will be hosted by JE Woodman & Son at its Bradford House Farm near Ponteland in Northumberland for the first time since 2011. With thousands of farmers expected to attend from the length of breadth of the country, it will take place on Wednesday June 7th 2023.
JE Woodman & Son is a farming enterprise headed up by noted livestock farmer Willie Woodman. In hosting this event, Willie, who farms with his wife Christine and son Martin will provide a glimpse into a traditional Northumberland farm. The 2130 acres they farm are located at two bases, 30 miles apart, and include the 930 acres Bradford House Farm near Ponteland and 1,200 acres Great Chesters, a hill farm in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall.
Organised by the Northern Regional Committee of the NSA, and area taking in the counties of Cumbria, Co. Durham, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumberland, North and West Yorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria, NSA North Sheep is a showcase for all sectors of the sheep industry and a key date in the diary for the thousands of people who attend. With hundreds of trades stands, a series of seminars, and dozens of demonstrations this is an event which encompasses all aspects of the sheep farming industry. With the Woodman’s sheep farming enterprise focussing on producing top quality prime lambs which are sold at Hexham Mart, the farm tour will be highly anticipated and form an integral part of the day.
Bradford Farm, is a traditional mid Northumberland livestock and arable farm purchased by the Woodman family in 2002 to complement Great Chesters. Today it is home to a lowland flock, of 250 Mule ewes and 200 Texel cross ewes and it is a base to grow wheat, barley, oilseed rape and beans. The sheep flock at Great Chesters comprises 700 Blackface ewes, 250 are bred to the blackface for replacements ewe lambs, the other 500 are put to the Blue Faced Leicesters to breed mule lambs. In addition, the Woodman’s have 270 cattle, mainly Limousin crosses with a few British Blue crosses, with 50 to 60 bulling heifers. The overall sheep farming enterprise is self-sufficient with the exception of some bought in tups, usually sourced from Hexham Mart.
Speaking on behalf of the family on the announcement of the chosen venue Willie, who has been a member of the NSA for many years, said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to have been invited to host this important sheep industry event and we are delighted to do this because it is also a showcase for Northumberland livestock. “We are looking forward to welcoming people to the farm next year. Our aim is to give people the chance to see a traditional Northumberland farm along with traditional Northumberland livestock. The farm tours will give people the opportunity to see the farm first-hand, our flock of Texels and Mules, the cattle which we sell forward stores and will bring down a display of Blackface sheep from the Great Chesters flock.”
Giving some further background to the event, Matthew Bagley, Chair of NSA North Sheep 2021 said: “Firstly I would like to thank the Woodman family for agreeing to host NSA North Sheep next year on behalf of the Northern Region. It is 10 years since NSA North Sheep has been held in Northumberland and this is not only a tremendous farm it is, easily accessible and centrally located. The farm is located in one of the UK’ major sheep producing areas and I know that those attending will be keen to see how a successful Northumbrian sheep farming family like the Woodmans run their enterprises.” “We of course must also remember that NSA North Sheep is an important business and educational event and our aim is provide a forum so farmers can access the latest information and advice on production techniques to help achieve better profitability which they can then take home and put into operation on their own farms.”
The National Sheep Association (NSA) is funded by the memberships of its sheep farmers. Together with the many industry-related activities it is involved with, it aims to ensure that it plays a key part in every aspect of the sheep farming industry. As an organisation, the NSA represents the views and interests of sheep producers throughout the UK and is an essential network for and receives significant support from everyone connected with the industry.