Hunt for seaside sheep on moors

Reg Peirson - chairman of the Swaledale Sheep 'E' District on North York Moors. w1462b . Pic Scott Wicking.
Reg Peirson - chairman of the Swaledale Sheep 'E' District on North York Moors. w1462b . Pic Scott Wicking.

North Yorkshire Moors businesses, visitor attractions, schools and community groups are being invited to get involved with a new tourism compaign to make visitors smile and explore more of the area.

The Sea and Sheep initiative, which kicks off on July 1, will encourage visitors to see more and stay longer in the national park while they hunt for sheep decorated in seaside holiday mode.

The initiative is the brainchild of the North Yorks Moors Tourism Network which organised the successful Lost Sheep in Pink Jerseys in 2013.

It is hoped that more than 50 seaside-themed sheep will be created by local businesses and community groups and positioned in the national park for two months from July 1 to August 31. Visitors will be encouraged to spot them and share their location using the #Seathesheep hashtag.

Many of the sheep will be located close to walking trails and cycle paths.

Susan Briggs, director of the tourism network, said: “Sheep have always been a very familiar sight throughout the national park. Centuries ago, many of the trails that are still popular with visitors today would once have been used to herd flocks as well as transporting goods, whether legal or smuggled, from ships on the coast and across the moorland to towns further inland. The Sea the Sheep campaign aims to pick up on this heritage and introduce a level of intrigue for visitors of all ages that helps lead them from the moorland to the coast.

“It doesn’t matter whether ir’s a small knitted figurine of a sheep in a bikini or a life-size statue with a suitcase, hat and sunglasses, as long as they bring a smile to visitors’ faces and encourage them to discover more.”

The initiative is being organised on behalf of the national park as part of its destination activity funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.