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Anyone passing along the A830 road between Fort William and Glenfinnan may have noticed a rather colourful sheep in an adjacent field at Kinlocheil.
Decorated with a rainbow, the symbol of solidarity with NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic, the Cross-Cheviot ewe belongs to Alistair MacLeod who 0wns property and land nearby.
Mr MacLeod, who runs a 50-strong flock of sheep, lives at Morar, where he and his family owned the Morar Hotel for 30 years, as well as being involved in crofting.
On the rainbow-adorned sheep, Mr MacLeod explained: ‘I was in hospital recently, although not for anything related to coronavirus.
‘Staff at the hospital looked after me so well that, when I got out, I thought it would be nice to do something to signal my appreciation for all their care and hard work.
‘The ewe had been inside to give birth. She had triplets, and before we turned her out into the field my son Iain and I used some of the marker dye you use on sheep to give her a rainbow.
‘She has a trailer outside that is nice and warm for her and the lambs.’
Mr MacLeod explained running the small flock of sheep was only a hobby: ‘I’ve had sheep since I was young, but most of the sheep have been taken off the hills up here nowadays. But I’ll always want to keep some sheep.’
Asked if his ‘rainbow ewe’ had a name, Mr MacLeod laughed: ‘I think we should christen her Nicola after our First Minister as she seems to be doing a good job at the moment!’
Alistair, left, and Iain MacLeod with ‘Nicola’ the NHS sheep. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos