Herdwick sheep are set to roam across the Lake District – but this is a fantasy flock being created by artists.
The sheep are about to be decorated and glazed before going on display this spring at a string of more than 50 locations between Windermere and Keswick. And one of the first on the route will be at the Cedar Manor Hotel in Windermere whose sheep has been painted by Kendal artist Thuline de Cock.
It’s a charity initiative by the Lake District Calvert Trust who hope that the sheep will become as iconic as the cattle of the Cow Parade – and bring in funds for a good cause. The Trust run challenging outdoor adventure breaks for those with disabilities and money raised will help fund the £1.3m capital redevelopment of Old Windebrowe, in Keswick, a grade 2 listed farmhouse and tithe barn which is thought to date back to the 1550s and was once used as a home by William Wordsworth.
Businesses were asked to sponsor a sheep – life-size blank Herdwick ewe sculptures made of glass-reinforced plastic – and then have it decorated into a distinctive work of art.
From Easter the sheep will appear in unexpected places; in parks, gardens, in the street, on buildings, in shops, cafes and restaurants – all paying homage to the Herdwick’s iconic home in the Lake District. An art trail map, posters and brochures naming all the sponsors and artists will be sold throughout the life of the project.
Jonathan and Caroline Kaye who run the Cedar Manor Hotel are long-time supporters of the Calvert Trust; Caroline is going to run the London Marathon in April to raise funds for them. “We thought it was a brilliant idea,” said Caroline. “The sheep will stand under the Cedar tree by our entrance so everyone will see it when they pass by.”
They chose artist Thuline to decorate their sheep as she has already exhibited her paintings, and run a workshop, at the hotel. “We love her paintings of animals, and we love what she’s done with our sheep,” Caroline said.
The Calvert Trust project will deliver six specialised apartments suitable for stroke survivors and those with acquired brain injuries or physical impairments, including a communal area allowing guests to receive occupational therapy and rehabilitative support on-site.
Photos by Richard Gill, Great Impressions