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In Jamese McCloy’s barn in the rolling Sperrin Hills, the only sound you’ll hear at sheep shearing time - aside from gentle birdsong - is the snip-snip of his blades as they work their way through the fluffiest fleece imaginable.

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Like his father and grandfather before him, Jamese has been tending to sheep for decades, with the help of highly trained border collies, Moss, Jess & Tess (themselves from a long line of sheepdogs).

Visit the Glenshane Country Farm and discover how, with a whistle, a whisper, or a gesture, Jamese can direct the dogs to herd hundreds of remarkably well-behaved sheep.

Come rain, hail or shine - or even a blanket of snow - this shepherd is out with his flock. It’s not the easiest career, but for Jamese, “it’s a way of life. There’s just something about getting out into the fresh air and nature.”

“ Visitors leave here with a story they want to tell, and retell, to their friends and family. ”
Jamese McCloy, Shepherd

Join Jamese as he shares his tales of farming life, and points out Slemish Mountain, where Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, worked as a shepherd 1,500 years ago.

Help him open gates to lead the flock into traditional wooden pens, make friends with Moss, Jess and Tess, breathe in the scent of fresh hay, and reach over to touch the sheep, their springy wool like candy floss.

Take shelter in the viewing gallery, built with Donegal quartz stone and timber, and marvel at the panoramic views of Slieve Gallion mountain, Lough Neagh and the Mourne mountain range.



And, of course, no shepherd is complete without his crook; what Jamese describes as “an extension of me”. It’s handmade, from buffalo horn and hazel wood (the tree of wisdom), and inscribed with his initials - and it might just be passed down to one of his four children, the youngest of whom is a five-year-old budding shepherdess.

“When visitors leave here, they feel like they were part of something,” says Jamese during a well-earned tea break in his farmhouse kitchen. “They have a story they want to tell, and retell, to their friends and family back home.”

Essential Information
Price

Available upon request.

Advance booking required.  

Location

Sheepdogs at Work, Glenshane Country Farm, Derry~Londonderry.

55 minutes from Belfast by road.

Group Size

2 minimum. 

50 maximum.

Opening Times

Operates days per week January to December. 

Duration

On average a 1.5 hour experience.

Accessibility

Can cater for guests with restricted mobility.  

Parking

Coach, minibus and car parking available.

Catering

Tea & coffee available on-site. Nearest restaurant 1-mile away.

Languages

English only.

Accommodation

For a comprehensive list of accommodation available across Northern Ireland visit discovernorthernireland.com

Additional Information

Fully guided experience.

Outdoor jacket and boots/wellies recommended.  

To learn more about our new experience brand or to get involved visit tourismni.com.

Booking Information

To programme this experience email glenshanecountryhouse@gmail.com 

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Tourism Northern Ireland's Business Solutions team can assist with all travel trade queries and requests. 

Call or email us now to programme Northern Ireland or visit the contact us section to connect with our Global Trade team colleagues where you are.