A return to the island's annual Summer event with new (and returning) volunteers, SheepDyke Wardens, a Festival Crew, volunteer bus, Reward Packs and a host of activities and workshops.
Here are some of our highlights:
Festival Crew and Sheep Dyke Wardens
This year's volunteers were supported by the Sheep Festival Crew and Sheep Dyke Wardens, whose job was to organise events and greet newcomers to the Festival, and offer support and guidance with the rebuilding. Together they created a fun, inclusive and welcoming atmosphere to all who attended.
A huge thanks to all the team, and to our funders Awards for All Scotland.
To put it simply, SheepFest wouldn't exist without our incredible band of volunteers. Whether people joined us for a single morning or stayed the entirety of the fortnight, every stone that's placed back onto the sheepdyke makes a difference. A huge thank you to every person who showed up, lifted rocks and did so with a smile on their face - thank you!
Many thanks also to our funders The Lennox Hannay Charitable Fund, whose generous donation to the Festival provided everything from the Volunteers' Transport, event and workshop funding and our Volunteer Reward Pack scheme.
One of the most special things about rebuilding the historic sheepdyke is knowing that the stones you are lifting and placing are the exact same ones originally used in 1832. The North Ronaldsay sheepdyke has been called an 'organically evolving monument' - taking new shape whenever the elements challenge its structure, and offering every person who helps to rebuild it a role in its history - as well as its future.
This year's 40+ volunteers tackled three different sections of sheepdyke and one collapsed pund, rebuilding over 200 metres of sheepdyke from the ground up! A phenomenal effort, as this "before and after" shows.
The events and workshops
Tours of the Wool Mill and Lighthouse, resin workshops, arts and crafts, felting and weaving, a short film, quiz, TWO dances - and of course the almighty Residents vs Visitors football match (1-1) - all formed part of this year's jam-packed and fantastic Festival programme.
A huge thank you to all who hosted a workshop, passed on tips and tricks, and made the entire event one to remember.
The Reward Packs
Another new addition to 2022, our Volunteer Reward Packs stuffed with SheepFest goodies, including vouchers to spend on the island (generating economic benefit throughout the various island businesses). The more sessions you took part in, the more you got back. It was our way of saying thanks to our band of fabulous volunteers. The merchandise proved so popular that we may even start selling it next year as a fundraiser!
Every volunteer also received a Welcome Pack containing the Festival programme, postcards, a volunteer reward card, map of the island and fact sheet about North Ronaldsay and the SheepDyke.
SheepFest'22 A Game of Stones
To everyone who took part in the North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival 2022 - crew, wardens, volunteers, catering and accommodation, musicians, dogs and our own little Mini Crew who designed the logo - thank you and enjoy some more photos below. We hope to see you all again soon.