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Fiona the sheep charity fund raises £6k in two days

By Caroline McMorran

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It really is a golden fleece! A fund set up to raise money for charity in tribute to Britain’s formerly loneliest sheep has raised more than £6000 in just two days.

Fiona's fleece is also to be auctioned off for charity, her rescuers have confirmed.

Fiona the sheep after her rescue.
Fiona the sheep after her rescue.

Fiona the ewe arrived at Dalscone Farm in Dumfries on Saturday after being rescued by specialist climbing teams.

She somehow survived for two years alone on a beach at the foot of an isolated cliff on the Cromarty Firth

Now a JustGiving page has already raised more that twice its initial target of £2500 from over 320 supporters. More than £600 in gift aid has also already been accrued.

Donations have come from the USA and Canada among other places.

The cash from Fiona's Fund will be split between Scottish agricultural charity, RSABI. and the Scottish SPCA.

Ben Best from the farm wrote:"We know that Fiona 'The World's Loneliest Sheep' has touched the hearts of millions of people world wide. We have had loads of requests about how to donate to her cause but she's got everything she could ever need at Dalscone but we'd love to raise some money for some very important charities that have been involved in her story and rescue.

"RSABI are a fantastic charity who work with farmers and the wider agriculture industries to provide a lifeline and someone to talk to during stressful times. They provide emotional, practical and financial support to people in all different roles in Scottish agriculture. Scottish SPCA do fantastic work for animal welfare across Scotland so we'd love to raise money for them to allow them to continue supporting farmers throughout Scotland.

"All funds raised will be split 50/50 between these amazing charities."

The three-year-old ewe, who is said to be “settling into her new home nicely”, now has a new look after her overgrown fleece was trimmed with hand shearers and sent to an expert knitter.

It comes as protesters who believed Fiona would be sent to a “petting zoo” have since apologised to the farm.

Wooldale Wool is crafting items from the fleece that will go on sale to support RSABI and Scottish SPCA.

After spending two years stranded near Balintore, Easter Ross, Fiona is now an internet star.

The farm's social media channels and webcam had topped three million hits.

The farm described the interest as "amazing".

She is in a quiet pen to help acclimatise to her new life before being integrated into the flock.

Rescuers used a winch mounted on a truck parked at the top of the cliff, 200m of rope and a feed bag fashioned into a makeshift sling in what was described as an 'epic' mission.

Two of the men stayed at the top to operate the winch while three others were lowered 250m down the steep descent where they found Fiona in a cave and guided her up the rock face.

She was also surprisingly overweight.

The farmer on whose land Fiona was trapped had made previous attempts to retrieve her but was unable to do so without putting himself or his employees in danger.

Jill Turner, from Brora, Sutherland, who highlighted Fiona's plight first came across the ewe while kayaking in 2021.

She was shocked to discover she was still there two years later, and pleaded for someone to rescue her.

She said she was "very emotional" over her rescue.

"I am very emotional as it's been a very stressful time. I gave such a shriek over the news she had been rescued that it gave my husband a fright!" she said.

Even a hovercraft operator offered to help.

A petition calling for a rescue operation gathered more than 55,000 signatures.

The full story of the rescue will be told on the BBC's Landward programme, due to broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel on 16 November and BBC One Scotland the following day.

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