Giant sheep find new home at Farsley mill complex

Sunny Bank's John Gaunt with one of the sheep. Photo: Fiona Gell

Have you HERD? Two giant sheep have made their way to Farsley’s historic Sunny Bank Mills.

They came from HERD, a festival produced by the Artichoke Trust, which saw 23 larger-than-life sheep appear in surprising places across the Kirklees countryside last summer.

Charlotte Topliss from Project Farsley saw that the sheep were looking for a new home and immediately contacted John and William Gaunt at Sunny Bank thinking they might like to adopt them.

After an enthusiastic yes, there followed a bit of head scratching as to where these enormous beasts could go and how exactly they were going to get from a warehouse in Morley to the grounds of the Mills.

John Gaunt with one of the giant sheep. Photo: Fiona Gell

But they made it happen via some large lorries, with Fethera now sitting gloriously outside the 1912 and Covero temporarily up in the woodland.

A Project Farsley spokesperson said: “We hope people love seeing them as much as we do. We are loving the reaction of the community to these amazing sheep!”

Project Farsley is a community arts collective in Farsley.

The sheep are lifted into place. Photo: Fiona Gell

John Gaunt, joint Managing Director of Sunny Bank Mills, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Fethera and Covero, our new 12 ft tall, 15 ft long sheep sculptures to Sunny Bank Mills. It feels very fitting that Sunny Bank Mills, with its history of nearly 180 years of wool cloth production, can give these two amazing sculptures a permanent home.

“The sheep were originally commissioned by Artichoke for Herd, a Kirklees year of Music 2023 project. Fethera and Covero were made and designed by artist Dave Young and Anne Gaffikin.

“We would like to thank the Artichoke Trust who have very generously donated the sculptures to Sunny Bank Mills. We would also like to thank Project Farsley who spotted the opportunity that these two sheep needed a good home.

“We love working with community groups such as Project Farsley and our common aim to encourage and deliver public art works came together perfectly.  Fethera and Covero will form the beginnings of The Sunny Bank Mills Sculpture Trail, with a third sculpture to be unveiled soon.

“Do head to to read about the amazing HERD festival and the fascinating story behind the naming of the sheep, which is derived from an ancient method of counting sheep!”

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