Hebridean farmer paints his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

The sheep were painted with rainbows and love hearts as well as ‘NHS’ in blue letters

Farmers on a Hebridean island have shown their appreciation for the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic by spray painting sheep with messages of support.

The flock of 11 sheep and lambs, on Islay, Inner Hebrides, have been decorated with brightly coloured love hearts and rainbows, as well as 'NHS' in blue letters.

They belong to farmer Andrew Jones, but his girlfriend Sophie MacGill, 25, came up with the idea of painting them, Sophie and lambing assistant Katie Keenan, 19, got creative on Saturday at Coull Farm on the island, known for its whisky industry.

A Hebridean farmer has painted his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

Andrew and his dad, Donald, 65, and mum, Pat, 63, run the farm, but the NHS is close to their hearts as his sister Sheena MacSween, 41, is a nurse in Benbecula, Outer Hebrides.

It only took around an hour to paint the flock, but the response has been 'phenomenal' from islanders.

Andrew, 32, said: "We were just wanting to show appreciation for the NHS frontline staff and a bit of a cheerier note for people to see on social media, rather than the doom and gloom.

"Locals are sticking to the rules well over here and barely going out but people that live close to the coast will drive or walk by.

A Hebridean farmer has painted his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

"We've got the sheep in a field close to the road so people can see these colourful sheep.

"My girlfriend came up with the idea.

"She didn't think for a second that me or my dad would agree to it.

"There's a girl who works with the sheep and they both did it together.

A Hebridean farmer has painted his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

"They did the lambs to match their mothers and fired them out into the field.

"We put pictures on social media and it just took off.

"The reaction's been phenomenal.

"The girls have done really well.

A Hebridean farmer has painted his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

"When I put them on the farm's Facebook I expected a lot more negativity but 99.9 percent of people have been brilliant and wanting to share it.

"It's just something different.

"There's plenty of NHS staff on the island as well."

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A Hebridean farmer has painted his sheep with messages of support for the NHS

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