Let’s flock ‘n’ roll: the growing is good at the Royal Highland Show

The Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling Championships is returning to the Royal Highland Show this year, and Flock to the Show – a massive cross-country public art trail – is celebrating the fact. Now meet one of the bleaters – Sheepscape by Charity McArdle sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland
The growing is good at the Royal Highland ShowThe growing is good at the Royal Highland Show
The growing is good at the Royal Highland Show

The Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling Championships is returning to the Royal Highland Show in June after 20 years.

Held in the MacRobert Theatre, more than 35 countries from across the world will battle it out to see who is the fastest sheep shearer and who has the best woolhandling technique.

The highly-anticipated event will feature 39 decorated sheep sculptures that are currently on tour across Scotland in the Flock to the Show public art trail.

The Scotsman is the media partner for both events and the Royal Highland Show is held from 22 to 25 June.

Visit the website at royalhighlandshow.org

Meet the artist

Artist Charity McArdle trained in London in the early 1990s, but lost touch with making her own work in the melee of starting a career in teaching, raising a family, and moving to Scotland.

She rediscovered her creative passion in 2015, inspiring oil and canvas works NHS Portrait for a Hero, the coyly provocative Caledonian Buddha, as well as a range of land and seascapes.

Her current work presents sweeping, sumptuously painted landscapes and brooding skies.

Charity says: “I am in awe of the scale of the views, the ever-changing light of our infinite skies and how these shifts are constantly noted on the Scottish landscape.

“When I see the man-made structures that map our history and point to our future, they seem so fragile against sea and sky, and yet the strength of their symbolism – innovation, industry, and renewal – belies the impact of our constant need for growth.”


Sheepscape by Charity McArdle clebrates the fact that Scottish farmers have been at the forefront of regenerative principles in agriculture for over a century.

New developments using these precepts can have positive effects by promoting soil health, reducing input costs, increasing productivity, and enhancing environmental sustainability. Scottish farmers have made great use of regenerative methods in recent years, often revisiting centuries-old methods for inspiration.

Many have adopted organic practices, which boosts soil health, biodiversity, and natural ecosystem functions, while reducing the use of synthetic inputs. Conservation tillage is becoming increasingly common and can help to reduce soil erosion, improve soil structure, and increase carbon sequestration.

Farmers have also been experimenting with agroforestry systems, which integrate trees and crops, to promote biodiversity and further improve soil health.

Meet the sponsor

The Royal Bank of Scotland is a major retail and commercial bank in Scotland. It is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of NatWest Group, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank.

They said: “Royal Bank of Scotland has been the principal sponsor and partner of the Royal Highland Show since 1981. For the last 41 years, the Royal Bank of Scotland has helped support and build Scotland’s premier agricultural event, attracting over 194,000 visitors and rising each year.

“The event serves as a major marketing platform for producers, exhibitors and businesses from across Scotland and the wider UK, with Royal Bank of Scotland at the heart.

“The Royal Bank of Scotland is proud of our continued relationship with the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland and the Royal Highland Show, making this partnership one of the longest running corporate partnerships in the world.”

Find your fleece

Locate today’s sheep and access our VIP competition to win free parking, hospitality, and lots more by following this link.