Model cows find new home

Life-size model cows that wowed both the judges and the crowds at the first-ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show have found the perfect home and will stay together as a herd in the Peak District and Derbyshire.

Three beautiful beasts – all eye-catching features in official tourist board Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire’s Silver-Gilt Medal winning show garden – have been put out to pasture at The Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath.

The quirky cows – sprayed in metallic colours and ‘branded’ with a blue and white hand-painted circular motif – are destined to be a whimsical talking point for visitors at Derbyshire’s oldest tourist attraction high above the Derwent Valley.

The Heights of Abraham Director Rupert Pugh said: We are delighted that we are able to welcome all three of the quirky cows and keep them in the Peak District. We hope that visitors to The Heights will enjoy the opportunity to see these contemporary, captivating sculptures for many years to come.

“With the main access to The Heights via cable car, it’s certainly been a challenge to transport the cows safely to the top – a very unusual load and not something you would expect to see travelling across the A6!”

Added Jo Dilley, Managing Director, Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire: “It’s great news that the cows, which were a real talking point throughout the RHS Chatsworth show, will stay together on home soil so that even more people who come to the area in future can enjoy them.

“We’re really grateful to The Heights of Abraham for giving them long-term grazing rights in one of the most scenic locations in the area.”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show award winning designer Lee Bestall, who designed the tourist board’s Experience Peak District and Derbyshire show garden at Chatsworth , was inspired to include the cows after reading a comment by Sir George Sitwell that white cows could be made more interesting if painted with a blue pattern.

One of the cows is sprayed copper, another chrome/silver and the third gold, based on an original concept by Hathersage-based artists Becky Pytches and Rob Hopper. University intern Marion Leclerc (21) from Nantes, France, currently working with Lee and his team at Bestall & Co, then hand-painted a Willow pattern inspired ‘brand’ on the rump of each animal.

Meanwhile the show garden – featuring wild flower strewn meadows leading via a mown path and stone ha-ha to clipped topiary and herbaceous planting favoured by the area’s great country houses – is also flourishing.

It has been recreated at Renishaw Hall and Gardens, north Derbyshire by Lee and his team – all of whom are based there – to attract and inspire even more garden and plant lovers in the future.

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