Social-media savvy shepherdess hopes more women will follow her into farming

  • Video report by Lise McNally

One farmer told ITV News that women are Credit: ITV News

The numbers of women making a living from farming has seen a sharp rise, according to government figures.

One woman who left life in Liverpool for a rural sheep farm in Cumbria says that while women "have long been the backbone of the industry" - more and more are finding the confidence to set up on their own.

Holding a baby goat, born less than an hour ago, Hannah Jackson confirms "it's the best job in the world - there isn't that stigma that it's a man's industry anymore".

Credit: ITV News

Hannah Jackson says she has faced some unhelpful stereotypes in her six years shepherding - being told "we'll get the boys in for the next job because they're too strong for you to handle".

But she says this is becoming more and more rare - and it's a chance for you to go and "show them the opposite - you're more than capable, you're more than strong enough".

16.9%

of UK farmers are women

9.3%

of UK farmers were women in 2004-2005

Credit: Instagram/ Hannah Jackson

Now, Hannah is keen to make the industry even more open, especially to women who have not grown up in farming communities.

Known as The Red Shepherdess, she shares photos and insights of life on the farm to many thousands of her followers on Twitter and Instagram - saying "you can come from outside the industry, and still farm. It's open to everyone - get a foot in the door"