Mayfields Farm

40 acres grassland farm

At only 40 acres, Mayfields Farm may be small, but it is beautiful and every aspect of it has been considered for wildlife. It was donated to the CRT in 2004 by Greta McDonough and is based in the quaint village of Themelthorpe, in the parish of Foulsham, Norfolk.


Tenant Farmer, Sarah Jenkins has a small flock of breeding pedigree Norfolk horns, southdown and Scottish blackface sheep on the small-holding, but her main activities are related to the traditional skills of shepherding, passing this heritage skill on to future generations and training sheepdogs and their handlers.

Mayfields Farm also hosts a number of school visits as a part of the MOSAIC education programme. 


A traditional orchard of indigenous trees was planted at Mayfields Farm not long after the CRT took over. At 10 years old, the orchard is still in its adolescent stage, but will soon be reaching maturity. Sheep and lambs graze around the trees making it a beautiful spot to sit and take in the atmosphere and forget about modern life for a few moments.


Sarah Jenkins and Countryfile's Margherita Taylor
Another highlight of the farm is the wet woodland, which is rare. The unusual habitat attracts a wide range of different species. A raised, accessible footpath runs through the wet woodland to allow everyone to enjoy it from a safe perspective which leads to the red squirrel enclosure. 

Our red squirrels on Countryfile

We are delighted that Mayfields Farm is part of the East Anglian Red Squirrel Group. We have three dedicated red squirrel breeding enclosures housing up to two pairs at a time. We hope to breed two litters from each pair every year with each litter giving us up to eight kittens to re-introduce into the wild in areas that do not have a red squirrel population, such as Anglesey in North Wales.

Sarah Jenkins, volunteers along with Chrissie Kelley from East Anglian Red Squirrel Group featured on Countryfile in 2019. During the episode, the Countryfile explored how Sarah trains sheepdogs and their handlers, breeds red squirrels in the new-build luxury squirrel house and maintains the grasslands that she new as a child. 

BBC Iplayer

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Sarah Jenkins training a new dog

Be taught by an expert

Running in sheepdog trials for as long as she has been shepherding sheep, Sarah Jenkins has competed at the highest levels, having twice represented England at the International Sheepdog Trials and qualifying with two dogs in the 2002 Bala World Trials. She has also judged many trials in England and Wales, and in 2005 was invited to judge a series of trials in the USA. In 2012 she was also invited to judge at the Dutch Open Sheepdog Trials.

Mayfields offers a variety of training options to suit individuals and their dogs. With its different breeds of sheep available for dog training, we can provide suitable sheep for dogs and handlers of any age and ability, from complete beginners to those with considerable experience.

Whether your main interest is in producing a good working dog, being able to compete successfully in trials, or learning a new skill with your dog, we can help.

If you are not sure if working with sheep is something you and your dog would like to do, come and watch, then if you want to continue, we can arrange a trial and assessment session. 


Working Sheepdog Demonstrations 

The Mayfields Farm Team are available for working sheepdog demonstrations throughout the year. To your Event, we will bring our Geese and a range of Sheepdogs, showcasing different stages of training from young pups right through to schoolmasters. We have found our demos to be a real crowd pleaser particularly with the children who are invited to join in with us towards the end of our shows.

Training days

Throughout the year, we offer group training days at Mayfields Farm. This is a good opportunity to watch and learn from other handlers, whilst discussing the finer details of training working sheepdogs.


Sheep husbandry for beginners

Here at Mayfields Farm, experienced Shepherds can provide you with the knowledge and hands on experience that you will need prior to owning your own flock of sheep. This will include the legal requirements, vet and med, health checks, and handling skills appropriate to certain months in the year.




Pet behavioural and obedience training

We offer one to one sessions with you and your pet. Using our training methods, based on the language and instincts of the dog, we can resolve many common problems.  Are you experiencing any of the following:

  • Does your dog run off and not come when called?
  • Does your dog pull on its lead?
  • Does it chase wildlife or livestock?
  • Does it get overexcited?
  • Is it aggressive towards other dogs or people?
  • Is it nervous or apprehensive?

We can help turn your dog into one that is a pleasure to live with, using a method based on the language and instincts of the dog. It is not a 'quick fix' but rather a way of life for you and your dog.

We provide an initial consultation and assessment which allows us to devise an individual programme, tailored to the needs of each dog.


Natural Play 

Set in a rural environment, Mayfields can offer somewhere secure, within a well stock-fenced paddock, to enjoy time with your dog(s) off the lead.

Natural play provides the space to give your dog(s) freedom, but is also the perfect opportunity to practise basic training techniques such as "sit", "stay" and the "recall" away from the distractions of a public field.

The paddocks at Mayfields are also available to rent for agility classes and event days. Please contact us for more information.


Prices

Please contact us to discuss individual prices and for more information.