This weekend saw the end of the Go Herdwick Public Art Trail and the team are taking stock of six-month long project. Scattered across 150 square miles and 5 Lake District towns, sponsored by nearly 100 businesses and decorated by over 70 artists, the flock of 108 lifesize Herdwick ewes and lambs have been seen by an estimated 25,000 people who officially went Herdwick Spotting and countless thousands more who happened across them in their Lakeland homes since March.
All eyes are now on the all-important v-ewe-ing and auction this Autumn and raising as much money as possible for the trail’s cause: the Lake District Calvert Trust 40th anniversary fund. All proceeds raised from the trail and the auction will go towards funding a £1.3million redevelopment of the Lake District Calvert Trust’s Old Windebrowe site in Keswick. This Grade II listed farmhouse and tithe barn will be redeveloped into six specialised apartments suitable for those with acquired brain injury, an acquired physical disability or going through stroke recovery.
Sean Day, Centre Director for the Lake District Calvert Trust said: “The Go Herdwick project has been quite a departure from our day jobs at the Lake District Calvert Trust. We’re so grateful to everyone who has helped us get this far. From the sponsors and artists to the thousands of Herdwick spotters and auction-goers, all your support is ultimately helping us achieve our fundraising target so that we can welcome more people more comfortably to the centre each year.”
From Thu 22 – Wed 28 September, the whole flock will take up residence at the Rheged Centre for a one week long mass v-ewe-ing. This is the only opportunity (aside from the auction) to see all 108 ladies and babies together in one place. The Go Herdwick team are thrilled that the creative team from Theatre by the Lake have generously donated their time and the set of the acclaimed ‘The Shepherd’s Life‘ (Spring 2016) to help really capture the spirit of the Herdwicks’ fellside home. Entry is by donation and the v-ewe-ing is open daily from 10am – 5.30pm, closing at 1pm on Wednesday 28 September.
Following the v-ewe-ing, it’s all about the Grand Gala Auction due to be held at the Low Wood Bay Hotel, Bowness on Saturday 8 October. With over 200 tickets already sold to bidders from all over the country, there are now just under 50 left. This is the last chance for serious Go Herdwick spotters to join the evening in person to bid to own a Herdwick masterpiece. Tickets are available to buy online from goherdwick.co.uk.
Auctioneers from H&H Auction Rooms will be shepherding proceedings, and with ewes expected to make at least £1250 each and lambs in excess of £500, this is not for the faint-hearted. Tickets cost £60 (or £75 with a souvenir catalogue) and include a three course meal (starters on the hoof!), reception drinks and wine. This will no doubt prove to be a ewe-nique and memorable evening in aid of a truly great cause, but the focus of the event is very much on the auction – there are 108 lots to get through!
For those not able to attend the auction, H&H have facilitated both advance bids and online bidding on the night. To register for this or to purchase Go Herdwick merchandise, visit www.goherdwick.co.uk