Spotted ‘ewe’! The Go Herdwick Lake District sheep trail

Wanda, sponsored by The Lakes Connection from Stagecoach, at the Low Wood Hotel, Ambleside Road
Wanda, sponsored by The Lakes Connection from Stagecoach, at the Low Wood Bay Hotel, Ambleside Road (design by Marty Strutt)

Anyone spending time in the Lake District over the past few days may have noticed some peculiar goings on, with some very brightly coloured sheep appearing in the most unexpected places, from driveways to B&B gardens. The reason? It’s the start of the Go Herdwick public art trail to raise money for the Lake District Calvert Trust.

Go Herdwick Trail Guide
Go Herdwick Trail Guide

Officially starting yesterday, 25 March, 60 colourful and decorated life-sized Herdwick ewes have been put on display by a number of Lake District businesses and accommodation providers in Windermere, Ambleside, Rydal, Grasmere and Keswick. To follow the trail, you need to get hold of a trail map from one of the participating businesses, at a cost of £2, and when you’re out and about, you’ll be able to see how many you can spot. The ewes have been lovingly decorated by designers and artists, with every design, colour scheme and pattern imaginable. The question is, which will be your favourite?

Yesterday I went to photograph one of the ewes on display where I live, bought a trail map, and was absolutely hooked! Here are just some of the sheep I came across on my travels!

Go Herdwick at Lakeland Ltd in Windermere
At Lakeland in Windermere – the closest sheep is by Helen Rebanks and sponsored by Packmate
Street Vewe by Alison Bell at Lakeland, Windermere
Street Vewe by Alison Bell at Lakeland, Windermere
Go Herdwick Trail at the Cedar Manor Hotel, Windermere
Beatrix, by Thuline de Cock at the Cedar Manor Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere
Go Herdwick at the Cedar Manor Hotel, Windermere
And don’t forget that the designs are often different on each side!
Sharrow Baa, sponsored by Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel at the Mountain Goat office in Windermere
This is one of my favourites so far: Sharrow Baa, sponsored by Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel, standing proudly at the Mountain Goat office in Windermere (by Heather James)
Go Herdwick at Rydal Hall
Flora stands by the river at Rydal Hall’s Old School Room Tea Shop, and is sponsored by Sarasin & Partners LLP (by Rosalind Pollock)
Go Herdwick sheep at Rydal Hall
Nice tail!
Mawson's Mate by Robin Grenville-Evans at the Langdale Chase Hotel
Mawson’s Mate by Robin Grenville-Evans at the Langdale Chase Hotel
Ms Todd at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside
Ms Todd on the cafe balcony at Hayes Garden World, Ambleside (by Frankie Cranfield) – I hope someone gives her a cup of tea!
Lady Ewegenie Baathsheebaa, Hayes Garden World
Lady Ewegenie Baathsheebaa – one of three sheep on display at Hayes Garden World (design by Alex Jakob-Whitworth)
Rosemaaaary, The Souper Ewe outside Smallwood House Hotel, Ambleside
Rosemaaaary, The Souper Ewe outside Smallwood House Hotel, Ambleside (by David Penn)
Patchy by The Lakes School at Detail in Ambleside
Patchy by The Lakes School at Detail in Ambleside
Nettie, sponsored by Burnetts, at Gaynor Sports, Ambleside
Nettie, sponsored by Burnetts, at Gaynor Sports, Ambleside (design by Helen Smith)
Wanda the ewe at the Low Wood Hotel - Go Herdwick
And last but not least from me… a close up of another of my favourite sheep so far, Wanda! This design, by Marty Strutt, is amazing, and just look at those little boots! She’s on display on the roadside at the Low Wood Bay Hotel (see also main picture above). Now it’s time to go and spot your own favourites…!

The trail goes on until 4 September 2016, after which the ewes will be gathered together for public viewing at The Rheged Centre near Penrith (22-29 September). They’ll then be ‘taken to market’ and auctioned off at a Grand Gala Auction and Dinner at the Low Wood Bay Hotel near Windermere.

Between 27 May and 4 September, there’ll also be two mini ‘hide and seek lamb trails’ for little Herdwick hunters to enjoy in Windermere and Bowness, and Keswick. For these smaller family-friendly trails there’ll be 50 lambs in total, each again decorated by a local artist, and you’ll be able to buy a lamb passport and collect stamps on finding each one!

All funds raised by the Go Herdwick trail will help the Calvert Trust – which provides outdoor activities for those with disabilities – to develop a new rehabilitation centre in Keswick. It’s good fun for a good cause, so if you’re in the Lake District this spring or summer, why not purchase a trail guide and join in!?

Which is your favourite ewe on the trail so far? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or sharing your photos on social media (if you’d like me to retweet on Twitter, don’t forget to include @lakesgems in your tweet).

One Comment

  1. I’ve seen some great pictures of the ewes on social media – is anyone planning to photograph them all?!

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