Cumbria's best known shepherdess Hannah Jackson has taken her career to new heights - by landing a place on the gritty SAS: Who Dares Wins reality TV show.

The 26-year-old - known as the Red Shepherdess because of her hair colour - beat off competition from 5,000 other applicants to join 24 other men and women to take part in the hit Channel 4 show, which puts the recruits through tough SAS selection tests.

It’s the first time women have taken part in the show, which aired its first episode on Sunday. Instructors put the recruits under constant physical and mental pressure.

In sub-zero temperatures, high in the Andes of Chile, they faced a series of brutal challenges, including lengthy cross-country marches, abseiling, and traversing rock-strewn, fast-flowing rivers in freezing conditions.

According to the show’s producers, this year’s series was the toughest ever and involved 11 gruelling days of selection 2,500m above sea level.

In a tweet, posted yesterday, Hannah, from Croglin in the Eden Valley, quoted advice she got from an instructor.

He told Hannah and her comrades: “Keep your head down, graft, and smash everything they put in front of you.” Hannah adds: “So that’s what I did.”

Another instructor told them: “Welcome to hell.”

How Hannah has fared is yet to be revealed, but there can be no doubt she loved the experience. She said: “I decided to enter a male dominated industry, when I decided to farm, having not come from a farming background.

“I’ve worked incredibly hard to prove myself, and prove I can do anything a male can do in this industry.

“I work with men everyday and I have always been very comfortable and can ‘hold my own’ around them. Therefore living, sleeping, toilets, really didn’t bother me too much. In the end it was quite funny, everyone had their own ‘toilet routine’ so every morning I’d always be pooing with the same people. Some of the conversations recorded must be hilarious.”

In a tweet, she said: “I challenged myself to the MAX and went on SAS: Who Dares Wins.” Another message said: “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done - physically and mentally. Pushed my mind and body way past what I thought was possible.”

Her mum Amanda, commenting on the photo of Hannah holding a heavy rucksack above her head during the selection, said: “Strong, focused, determined: the face says it all - strong in mind and body.”

Before the show went out, Cumbrian farmer James Robinson wrote: “I can’t wait to see our good mate on TV tonight. She may sometimes complain about the cold early mornings in our parlour but she’s fearless, determined, and double hard. Very proud to call you a mate, Han.”