The 2017 NR Sheep Festival


From Monday 31st July to Friday 11th August 2017

The North Ronaldsay Sheep Festival is a working holiday like no other: the opportunity to discover a new skill or further an existing ability while helping to conserve and preserve a piece of living history. 

Click here for a detailed schedule of events.

Make a difference

Recent storms have caused catastrophic damage to the historic sheepdyke that surrounds the island of North Ronaldsay, leaving the island’s unique seaweed-eating sheep vulnerable to copper poisoning and polluting their gene-pool through cross-breeding. The NRT, along with the Orkney Sheep Foundation, are looking for volunteers to come to the Island and take part in North Ronaldsay’s first ever Sheep Festival.

A working holiday like no other

A two-week event, the first week focuses on conserving the Island’s ancient breed through the restoration of the sheepdyke, where you will be guided under the knowledge passed down through generations of islanders. Building a sheepdyke differs from a traditional drystone wall and here you will have the opportunity to learn from the experts.

Fun and activities will be scheduled during your stay on this magical island, from Lighthouse tours to pub quizzes, live music, pop-up exhibitions of Orkney artists, and an Island Dance on the 29th July.


“The Sheep Festival will bring together islanders and volunteers in the shared effort of restoring this unique sheepdyke.”

Kate Traill Price

OSF Director and Coordinator of the 2016 Sheepdyke Festival

There is plenty of room for volunteers of all levels of experience, the only thing you need is enthusiasm and a sense of adventure! Volunteers are also invited to stay for a second week to experience and take part in the sheep punding – the process of rounding up the wild sheep from the beach in order to be clipped.

North Ronaldsay’s sheep pund is the last remaining example of community agriculture in the UK and an unrivalled experience.

Visit for more information and to register your place for 2017.

Support our projects!

Click the links below to find out how you can support individual projects

The Old Beacon
Sheep Dykes
The Kirks

or make a general donation here

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