History & Heritage


Dovedale Sheepdog Trials are a feature of Moorland’s heritage that can be traced back to 1891, preceding the formation of the International Sheep Dog Society in 1906. Following disruption of the Trials due to bad weather in 1948 and 1949, the Society as we now know it was formed in 1950 when a group of local farmers contributed from their own pockets to stage a trial in 1951 recognising that “There is no good flock without a good shepherd and no good shepherd without a good dog”.


Every year since 1951, Dovedale Sheepdog Trials Society has staged an August trial over two days, inviting shepherds locally and nationally to showcase their dogs and their skills in friendly competition. This summer spectacle sets benchmarks, conserves traditional skills and inspires a following generation amongst the local residents and the transient tourist population that visit the area. In two of those years, 1967 and 2008, the Society was honoured to stage the English National Sheepdog Trial.

Each spring, the Society holds the Tom Naden Memorial Trial which is a one day event that donates all profits to cancer research.