Over the course of 2023, RBST worked with the Foundation for Common Land (FCL) to provide a series of educational events designed to reach audiences who would not normally be likely to access the rich heritage of commoning and the native breeds involved in commoning.

The events, made possible thanks to a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, attracted over 2,100 people, helping to raise awareness of RBST and its work.

The final event of the year was held at the Natural Christmas Market at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, where the RBST stand was accompanied by examples of five breeds of sheep: Derbyshire Gritstone, Hampshire Down, Castlemilk Moorit, Hebridean and Teeswater.

RBST Events Co-ordinator Amy Foulkes says: “The locations where the events took place gave RBST and FCL the chance to reach a wide variety of people to help educate them about native breeds, commoning and farming in general. For many people who attended, livestock are a rare sight, so when we were able to have sheep or a pony present these proved to be a great draw. People were also fascinated by the fleeces we had on display.”