EU4 Shepherds: Innovative & Sustainable Training for the 21st Century

Posted by

Archnetwork is one of 9 organisations across Europe working on the Erasmus+ funded EU4 Shepherds Project. The project will run from 2020 to 2023 and aims to share and create best practice training information for sustainable sheep keeping.

Shepherds have been key to managing the landscape in Europe and providing meat, milk and wool for millennia. Low intensity and environmentally beneficial sheep keeping has many benefits for healthier ecosystems and sustainable rural employment. Training for extensive shepherding, both formal and informal, is very variable across Europe. This project aims to identify what training is currently in place, what opportunities there are to update this training, and to share skills and experiences across Europe.

EU4 Shepherds will run from 2020 until 2023 and aims to develop an updated curriculum for 21st century shepherds, easy acesss training modules, and an online information exchange platform. The project website is being finalised and will be populated with more information as the project progresses.

EU4Shepherds Website


Our first step is to assess what is currently available for shepherd training and to ask sheep keepers of all kinds and sizes, and trainers for their views on how training should adapt to be relevant for the future. We will share information with shepherds in Scotland and the UK, help to make contacts with extensive shepherds in other countries, and we plan to hold an information event in 2023.

If you are a sheep keeper or if you offer training (formal or informal) to sheep keepers we have a short questionnaire which you can return to us. If you prefer to talk rather than write we are happy to give you a call to listen to your views. Contact Libby Urquhart (libby at or Seona Anderson (seona at if you would like to find out more about this project.

EU4 Shepherds Project Partners


Agrarian Chamber for Lower Saxony (Germany)

ADIRAM (Portugal)

Agricultural University of Plovdiv (Bulgaria)

AREC Agricultural Research Institute (Austria)

UCAEP University College for Agricultural & Environmental Pedagogy (Austria)

AGROM-ROM (Romania)

Fundation Monte Mediterraneo (Spain)

Recent Posts

Introduction and Finnish Forestry Overview Over two-thirds of Finland is forest cover. This expanse of forest cover may be one of the reasons most of the population seems to be well connected to nature, because most people live within reach of nature. Not only do people live near nature, but many are able to own a small piece of it as much of the forested area is owned by private persons. Accessibility is also important because many people are able to use the forest, even if they do not own any forests themselves. Subject to certain rules and regulations, people are able to use the forest and the wildlife within it as a renewable resource for wood products, hunting and foraging. Above all, most Finnish people strongly value the link between being in nature and good health.