Sheepfolds is Cumbria County Council’s major countywide sculpture project created by the internationally acclaimed artist Andy Goldsworthy.

The project began in January 1996 as part of the UK year of Visual Arts and the building programme continued until its official conclusion in April 2003 having achieved 46 folds.

Rather than making new Sheepfolds Goldsworthy committed himself to working with existing folds in various states of disrepair or in some cases folds which had disappeared altogether but were clearly indicated on old maps. This enabled him to connect directly with the farming tradition and history of Cumbria but, at the same time, as each sheepfold was rebuilt so he invigorated them with a new energy by incorporating his sculptural response.

The enthusiasm of individuals, communities and Parish and Town Councils has played a huge part in the development of Sheepfolds. A wide range of professional organisations have also been involved including Cumbria’s six district councils, the North West Development Agency, the Leader programme, the National Trust, the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities, Prism Arts, Cumbria Arts in Education, Newton Rigg College, Cumbria Public Art, Craven District Council, and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

In 2000 Dick Capel of East Cumbria Countryside Project took over management of the commissioning and building programme and continues to provide a curatorial and maintenance role on behalf of Cumbria County Council.