A KIRKBY Stephen farmer has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the sheep industry.

Alan Alderson, of Barras Farm. was presented with the TI Allison Memorial Award at the annual meeting of the NSA Northern Region by chairman Eddie Eastham.

The award is presented annually for outstanding contribution to the sheep industry in the North of England. Mr Alderson recently stood down from the role of Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association chairman after 18 years.

The association nominated him for the award, and member Graham Wilkinson said: “Alan has had an integral involvement in many discussion panels on various topics and is so well regarded and highly thought of by hill sheep farmers throughout the UK. He found time to be involved on the advisory panel when setting up a hill farm at Newton Rigg College and also took an advisory role in the setting up of the National Scrapie Plan.

“He has put much time into promoting the Swaledale which included helping to set up the Swaledale M&S lamb scheme and was recently awarded the High Sheriff of Cumbria Community Award for his involvement with training the police to recognise sheep and sheep marks.”

The annual meeting included presentations and updates if the NSA’s work and technical developments within the sheep sector.

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, gave a brief overview of the Brexit situation and Livestock Identification Programme (LIP) followed by NSA Next Generation Ambassador Thomas Vickers who gave a talk on his experiences during the programme.

Adam Day, managing director at the Farmer Network and freelance auctioneer, gave an overview of the Network’s work.