Schoolgirl from Wirral’s Woodchurch High in line to be top of flocks in national shepherd contest
A WIRRAL schoolgirl is hoping to be top of the flocks after landing a coveted place in a national final for shepherds.
Megan Lowry, 16, is a student at Woodchurch high school in Birkenhead.
But despite her urban schooling she is now to rub shoulders with young shepherds from across the country after leading her school to glory and a raft of rosettes on its debut in the Cheshire Show.
The school has turned part of its grounds into a farm and orchard and has a flock of 20 North Ronaldsay sheep – to complement the hands-on agriculture and horticulture courses it offers pupils at GCSE and beyond.
Students volunteer every morning to feed and put out hay and water for the sheep and check on their welfare.
After proving so competent, staff at the school decided they should showcase their sheep-handling skills on the big stage by entering the Cheshire Show.
Megan took the young handler class, in the 13-17-year-old category, by storm.
The student, who lives yards from the school, managed to get her sheep – a ewe called Walmer Ruby – to wear a head collar, walk in an orderly manner and hold her head in place to look at the judges.
But she really caught the attention of the judges after a repeat performance with a random sheep.
It won her first prize and a place in the finals of Young Shepherd of the Year at Hatfield House Country Show next month.
Her victory is all the more remarkable as she has only been working with the sheep for 18 months and, with fellow pupil Sophie Tedesco, who was awarded third place, learned how to handle the animals from a book.
Megan, who is taking a diploma in environmental and land-based studies, said: “It took us three or four days to get the sheep to walk properly. They jumped in the air or played when we tried to put the collars on at first.
“We just gave them time and built up their trust.”
The school came home with nine rosettes after entries including lambs and hens also caught the judges’ eyes.