Cumbria

'Herdwick sheep' invade Lake District to raise £1.3m for charity

Sheep sculpture Image copyright Tim Fisher
Image caption "Herdwick spotting" is said to be popular with locals and tourists

A flock of decorated model sheep has invaded the Lake District in a bid to raise £1.3m for charity.

Made from glass-reinforced plastic, 60 life-sized ewes have formed an art trail in unexpected places between Keswick and Windermere.

Each sculpture is sponsored by a local business and decorated by an artist.

The Lake District Calvert Trust said locals and tourists had been sharing photos of the "beautiful ladies" via social media every day.

The Go Herdwick project is part of the trust's 40th anniversary to raise funds for a new facility at its Old Windebrowe site.

Image copyright Tim Fisher
Image caption The majority of the sheep are in-situ close to their sponsors' premises

The 60 ewes, inspired by London and Bristol's Shaun the Sheep figures, will be joined by 50 lambs to coincide with the reopening of the A591 in May.

The trust's business manager, Justin Farnan, said: "The closure of the A591 could have been seen as a setback for us, but it will be open for the majority of the trail.

"We are very pleased that Go Herdwick will be able to help drive tourist footfall to places such as Grasmere, both before and after the road is reopened, and that we can give something back to the wider community in what has been a difficult time for many businesses and residents."

The Herdwicks will be rounded up and auctioned for the trust in October.

Image caption Each sculpture has been sponsored by a local business and decorated by an artist

The charity, which provides outdoor holidays for people with disabilities, will use the money to develop the Grade II-listed building at Old Windebrowe into a rehabilitation centre for people recovering from strokes and for those with brain injuries.

Herdwick sheep are native to the Lake District and often graze at heights of about 3,000ft (915m).

Recognised as one of the hardiest British sheep breeds, in 2013 it was awarded protected status by the European Commission.

Image copyright Tim Fisher
Image caption The majority of the sheep are in accessible urban locations
Image caption The "flock" will be on display for six months
Image caption All 110 sculptures will be on display together in September at Rheged

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