Flock to the Show – Scotland’s rural charity launches Scotland wide public art trail
The Flock to the Show campaign celebrates the return of the world sheep shearing championships to the Royal Highland Show in June
The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) is getting set for the start of ‘Flock to the Show’, a public art trail that will travel across Scotland this April and May.
The campaign celebrates the return of the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling Championships to the Royal Highland Show, which takes place 22nd-25th June 2023.
The art trail features over 35 specially designed sheep sculptures, decorated by artists from across the UK. Designed to engage visitors of all ages, the trail will also raise awareness of different causes related to farming, including regenerative agriculture, rural isolation and climate change.
Artists who designed a sheep include Charlotte Brayley from Comrie, Perthshire, whose art project on her pet sheep, Alan, helped pay for her wedding, and Megan Reilly from Hamliton, South Lanarkshire, who designed the ‘Shepherds Delight’ sheep and has painted over 1000 murals in her artistic career.
As part of the campaign, there will be four opportunities, one in each area, to win a VIP Royal Highland Show experience for all the family – available for children and adults of all ages to enter. Budding artists can download a sheep outline from the Royal Highland Show website and create their own design to be in with a chance of winning. Information on how to enter can be found in the Flock to the Show section of the Royal Highland Show website.
Following the tour, the flock shall return to the Royal Highland Show during the Golden Shears in June this year, which will be the only time the sheep sculptures will gather together in one location.
The flock will then be auctioned at a gala dinner in September to raise funds that will support the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland Bicentennial Fund, which supports projects dedicated to sustainability in the rural sector.
The tour will cover four main areas – Aberdeenshire and Inverness; Dundee, Fife and Perthshire; Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway; and Lothian and the Scottish Borders.
Details of the tour areas can be found below.
Aberdeenshire and Inverness: 3rd – 16th April
Locations include Eastgate Shopping Centre, Ballater Visitor Centre; Aviemore Visitor Centre; Douneside House, Logie Farm Steading; and John O'Groats Visitor Centre.
Stirling, Dundee, Fife and Perthshire: 18thth – 30th April
Locations include: House of Bruar; Gloagburn Farm Shop; Visit Scotland iCentre St Andrews; Falkirk Wheel; Loch Leven’s Larder; and the Kelpies Visitor Centre.
Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway and Glasgow: 2nd – 14th May
Locations include: Buchanan Galleries; Glasgow Queen Street train station; Gretna Green; SRUC Barony.
Lothians and the Scottish Borders: 16th–30th May
Locations include: St James Quarter; Edinburgh Waverley Train Station, Drift, North Berwick; Melrose Rugby Club; and Craigies Farm.
Full details of the Flock to the Show tour can be found on the Royal Highland Show website: royalhighlandshow.org/flock-to-the-show
The Royal Highland Show takes place 22 - 25 June 2023, tickets are on sale now at: royalhighlandshow.org
Jim Warnock, Chairman of Royal Highland Show organisers, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), commented:
“We are very much looking forward to seeing our flock out and about across Scotland. Not only does Flock to the Show celebrate the return of the Golden Shears to the Royal Highland Show, but it will also shine a spotlight on some important causes in the agricultural and rural sectors.
“We hope that everyone will get involved and pay a visit to our flock when they arrive in your region, with such a brilliant and diverse range of designs from talented artists visitors won’t be disappointed!”
Neil McIntosh, Editor of The Scotsman, Flock to the Show’s Media Partner, added:
“The Scotsman team are delighted to support the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland as Media Partner of its Flock to the Show nationwide art trail and the 2023 Golden Shears Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling World Championships.
“Our partnership will help inspire our audience to learn more about Scottish agriculture, rural life and the vital work of RHASS.
“We call upon our loyal readers and corporate partners to get behind these fantastic initiatives and in turn support the very best standards in agriculture, forestry and stewardship of our countryside.”
Commenting on the Flock to the Show campaign, Minister for Environment and Land Reform Mairi McAllan MSP said:
“The prestigious ‘Golden Shears’ competition taking place in Edinburgh this year highlights the high international standing of Scotland’s agricultural industry. Our rural communities should be rightly proud of that reputation, and this exhibition is an important way of celebrating their success. I hope it can help to encourage more young people into what is an essential, thriving, and highly regarded sector, to learn important skills, and even become qualified shearers.
"The innovative exhibition is also a unique and creative way of drawing attention to important agricultural issues – such as the cost of living and doing business, rural isolation, animal health and welfare, and climate and nature emergencies. Through our Vision for Agriculture, we are committed to supporting our rural communities through these challenges towards a more sustainable, diverse and flourishing future.”