Tarland hay bale art seen by millions to raise money for local charity

Art installations on hay bales which were seen by millions of cycling fans are at the heart of a fundraising campaign for charity.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:01 am
Jenna is behind the quirky art exhibition.
Jenna is behind the quirky art exhibition.

Viewers of the Tour of Britain were treated to the eye-catching sculptures as the event weaved its way through Aberdeenshire’s rural roads.

Now the woman behind the display is hoping to raise cash for North East Sensory Services (NESS), which supports people with hearing and visual impairments across the north east.

Dr Jenna Ross, 36, whose family own Craskins Farm, where the hay bales are situated, said the organisation has supported her brother Duncan, 33, who has been blind since birth.

The display aims to raise as much money as possible for North East Sensory Services (NESS).

The quirky exhibition, which show cyclists mounted on hay bales near to the Queen’s View beauty spot near Tarland, was remarked upon by commentators during the race earlier this month, and is estimated to have been viewed by 39 million people worldwide.Jenna explained: “I’ve always been quite arty and creative, so during lockdown I made a nurse on one of the hay bales on the farm, just as a thank you to all the work the NHS was doing with the pandemic and because our mum’s a nurse. Then we made a witch for Hallowe’en, and a haggis for Burns Night – people keep asking what’s going to be there next.”

NESS has helped Duncan in a number of ways, including getting him into cycling, something that’s been put on hold during the Covid crisis.

“Because of the restrictions and social distancing, Duncan hasn’t been able to get onto his bike with a pilot yet,” Jenna added.

“But they’re just such a fantastic charity that we thought we could use this art to raise money for them. They do so much for people of all ages, and everything costs money, so the more we can get for them the better.

“We’re going to keep the structures up for a few more weeks, then start thinking about what to do next, possibly something for the kids at Hallowe’en.”Lynn Batham, community fundraising co-ordinator with NESS, said: “People across the north-east are always coming up with imaginative ways to raise money for NESS.“We’re extremely grateful that Jenna has chosen to use her imaginative display to raise money for NESS.