Annual Highland Fling is a success

Taylor Roth


Families flocked to Graves Park this Bank Holiday Monday for the annual Highland Fling.

The festival attracts people of all ages with its food vendors, carnival rides, birds of prey exhibition, ferret races, and namesake highland cattle show.

Despite being rainy this year, the fair was brimming with excited faces enjoying a relaxing day in the park.

Emma Carter, 26, is a National Trust ranger who manned a booth for the conservation organisation at the festival.

She said: “On really busy years we’ve had 10,000 people come here, so I think it’s really good.

“It gets people outside, it hopefully gets people interested in livestock and cattle, which I think is a declining thing.

“I think the highland cows are definitely a main attraction of the fling, just because it’s part of Graves Animal Park, and people come here to see the cattle.”

Robert Phillip owns Hellifield Highland Beef and has been bringing his cattle to the Highland Fling for 12 years.

He said: “The Highland Fling is a great opportunity for us to show off our cattle and we’re very proud of them.

“Most people only own five or six highland cattle and it’s a hobby but we own almost 150.”

“We really look forward to coming here every year.

“People come from all over and it’s just a great atmosphere, especially during the cattle show.”

The free festival was sponsored by the Highland Cattle Society and The Friends of Graves Park.

Visitors were also able to access the Graves Animal Park which houses pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, and many other farm animals.

Highland Fling event manager, Howard Simpson, said: “We feel the Fling was a great success.

“We had more visitors than ever before with over 12,000 visitors estimated, stall and food vendors had a good show, which is good for the local economy.

“We are certainly looking to organise again for next year and hopefully bring some new elements to keep interest and enjoyment.”


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