Baarilliant start for first Dalmally Sheep Festival

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AS FARMERS inside Dalmally Mart jostled to see a ram that sold for £100,000, in the field outside you could get your hands on a prize-winning sheep for just £1 – though admittedly this one was covered in butter icing and decorated with marshmallows.

The range of sheep-themed home baking was one of the hallmarks of the first Dalmally Sheep Festival, which raised over £600 for the local primary school and playgroup.

The event, on Saturday October 15, coincided with United Auctions’ annual ram sale at Dalmally Market, and had a family focus, with arts and crafts, and even a ‘lamb pen’ for younger children to play in. Popular activities included face painting, making sheep masks and trying sheep shearing (by scraping shaving foam from a balloon).

Though wet and windy weather presented challenges (with some stall holders relocating to livestock trailers and vans for shelter) it didn’t perturb the stars of the festival, a visiting collection of Hebridean sheep.

Several local organisations were represented, including charities Mary’s Meals and Craig Lodge, and the local ‘Knit and Natter’ craft club. The cafe and craft stall were run by volunteers with all baking and drinks donated.

There was plenty for wool enthusiasts, with spinning demonstrations, an Earth Loom (on which anyone could have a go at weaving) and knitted and felted gifts for sale. The wool fibre sale was hosted in an Asian yurt, a wood-framed shelter, contributed by Heartfelt at Dalmally Station.