Pye Ash Farm supports the Hospice - East Cheshire Hospice

Pye Ash Farm supports the Hospice

Breeding farm animals runs in the Gilman family and so does raising funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

They have raised more than £11,000 for the charity in just over two years through pumpkin mazes and lambing live events.

They own Pye Ash Farm, in Bosley, where face painting sessions have proved as popular with children as cattle and sheep.

Three generations work on a farm family owned since the 1930s.

From left, friends Lizzie Jones, Martha Gilman and Jemma Long with Pippy and Scrappy.

James’ father Joe – now almost 90 – still keeps an eye on what is going on at the farm and helps with car parking at seasonal events.

James is one of the country’s top sheepdog trainers and held trials for charity last year. The accomplished dog handler has represented England many times.

Indeed, in 2007 he won One Man and His Dog, a popular BBC television series.

James developed an interest 40 years ago when he bought his first dog Jill for £5. The sheepdogs he now trains are eighth generation.

Farm team members (from left) James Gilman, Lizzie Jones, Lizzie Clark, Kiera Bradley, Jane Gilman, Ash Imber and George Gilman.

Daughter Martha said: “Dad takes great pride in breeding and owning dogs and his lessons for local farmers and handlers are extremely popular.

“He just got the bug for sheepdog training and it became his passion, along with running the farm.

“We have 500 sheep of different breeds, 100 head of Hereford cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and around 10 sheepdogs at any one time.”

James Gilman and sheepdog Harry.

Bees are also part of life. James’ wife Jane is a beekeeper, a hobby she combines with teaching in Wincle and helping train dogs.

Martha and brother George will get involved at events, while George’s fiancée Liz is a vet which is useful. Their friend Jemma Long is a willing helper.

Martha said: “East Cheshire is our nearest hospice and close to the hearts of a lot of people we know.

“We’ve raised more than £14,000 for charity, mostly for the Hospice, from donations, including for face painting.

Farm workers (from left, back) Olivia Wain, Martha Gilman, Winnie Bullock, Sarah Nixon, Grace Gibbs. Front, Jane Gilman, Lizzie Clark, Kiera Bradley, James Gilman, Paige Jepson.

“The TV show brought sheepdog competition to the public attention. It involves how well the dog and handler work together getting sheep through gates.”

Pye Ash Farm will host sheepdog trials in August next year and their next event is a Pumpkin Maze this October. Visit

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