Lecturer Bob Shaw with Sheep, Lambs and Sheepdog

Bob Shaw Returns to His Roots To Deliver New Land-Based Short Courses at East Durham College

It’s all come full circle for East Durham College’s new agricultural lecturer, Bob Shaw, who has returned to the Houghall Campus in Durham to teach the next generation of farmers.

Bob will be delivering an new range of land-based short courses, including sheep shearing, dry stone walling, small holding and lambing. The courses will be open to those of ages 16 and up, giving both younger and older students the opportunity to gain qualifications in the agricultural field.

Level 1 and 2 full time agriculture students will also be taught by Bob, who is looking forward to returning to Houghall and treading the ground again which he remembers very well.

Bob, 58, from Durham, said: “I was born less than a mile away from Houghall. I attended school just half a mile from here too - while I was there, I used to come here on day release and took every course I could in agriculture.

“40 years later, I’m back at the Houghall campus! It’s my time now to give something back – I’ve learned a lot during my career and I’m excited to teach everything I can to everyone on one of our courses.”

East Durham College recently invested £13.25 million redeveloping Houghall and this investment included an ultra-modern new pig unit and a new cattle unit with six large pens and forage store to supplement the existing sheep unit down at the original farm site.

Farming is a big passion for Bob. He’d always wanted to be a farmer, and over his 40 year career, has worked around the world in locations including Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and France. Bob has also owned his own farming business, employing 28 people from many different locations. In one year, the business lambed over 50,000 sheep.

As part of his previous work, Bob was also selected as Farming Ambassador for the North West, where he was trained to speak publicly about farming-related issues (for example, Foot and Mouth disease) to the general public in order to increase awareness.

Bob said: “I’ve had a good career in farming, it’s my time to turn it around and put back what I’ve learned by teaching at Houghall. I’m extremely passionate that it’s not always farmers’ sons and daughters who make the best farmers; you can come from any walk of life and find success in the farming industry.

“Farming is so diverse – you could go into anything from lambing and sheep shearing to the fashion industry, supplying wool and leather. I hope to encourage people from all walks of life to consider a career in agriculture. If someone has an interest, there’s a job for them out there in the farming industry.”

For more information on East Durham College’s range of new land-based short courses, please visit www.eastdurham.ac.uk/landbased_short_courses or call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.