A firm has offered a helping hoof to organisers of the world’s largest public art event – providing transport for a herd of life-size cow sculptures.
Ifor Williams Trailers was udderly delighted to step into the breach for CowParade Surrey and ensure the world’s best-dressed fibreglass heifers have a VIP transfer to their new pastures – in the back of one of their trailers.
More than 60 full-size, uniquely decorated cows will be on display throughout Surrey until the end of August.
They will be auctioned off in the autumn to raise money for a variety of charities and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, which in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey helps to conserve and protect the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Andrew Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, was delighted to hear about the partnership.
He said: “Our livestock range of trailers were obviously designed with living, breathing animals in mind but they do the job equally well for the fibreglass cows!”
Distributor Universal Trailers in Billingshurst, West Sussex has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with chief CowParade Surrey organiser and third generation farmer, Tim Metson, who is a director of Surrey Hills Enterprises, the Community Interest Company responsible for delivering CowParade Surrey.
His family’s agricultural business, Coverwood Farm, in Peaslake, which is located in the heart of the Surrey Hills, was one of the trailer firm’s very first customers when it opened in 1982 and Tim still buys farming equipment from the business to this day.
The trailer firm was only too happy to hand over use of one of its largest Ifor Williams Trailers livestock models, the 14ft long, 7ft high TA510, as the cows are ‘mooved’ around the county into position over the coming weeks.
As the herd grows, and the cows are required to make multiple ‘special appearances’, he has offered additional flatbed trailers to cover their needs.
“It’s been one of the most unusual projects we’ve been involved with but it’s proving to be one of the most talked about, with customers spotting the strikingly painted cows at various venues throughout Surrey and particularly when they are moved on the flat bed trailers in full view of the public,” said Universal Trailers owner Mark Betts, 55, from Coneyhurst.
“We had no hesitation in getting involved and were happy to become the official trailer supplier. For me, the project has a nice personal twist as Tim’s father was one of our first customers back in 1982 when we started the business and has remained a regular customer ever since, so it’s a good way to recognise this and show appreciation for their loyalty, so as they say, it’s a win, win situation.
“During busy times when the herd is spread over different venues, or when a large number are going to one event, Tim has called for back-up and we’ve supplied various flatbed trailers to help him out and as the herd grows we’ll make sure we can cover his needs.”
The colourful heifers are already milking the attention, giving London tourists a smile when they were photographed outside the Houses of Parliament. As well as meeting Surrey’s MPs, they’ve also made a special appearance at the Surrey County Show to give visitors a taste of what’s to come in the main exhibition.
The cows have been sponsored by companies, individuals and schools and are being decorated individually or with the help of a professional artist. They will be on display around Surrey until the end of August when they will be herded back to Surrey Hills CowParade HQ at Tim’s family farm.
The inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival at Coverwood Farm on September 3 will be the final opportunity to see the cows before they are auctioned off to raise funds for charity.
Each business which has sponsored a cow will be able to choose a charity of their own to benefit from half of the auction proceeds, while the remaining 50 per cent will go to the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.
“The support we have received from businesses like Universal Trailers has been fantastic,” said Tim, who lives with his wife and three children on the family farm.
“As CowParade leader, bringing this unique project to Surrey was my idea and a big part of my job is transporting cows not only around Surrey but also further afield to artists and sponsors. The reliability and sturdiness of our fleet of CowParade Surrey trailers has been invaluable and the Ifor Williams Trailers’ brand is one we have trusted on our family farm for over 30 years.
“Ifor Williams Trailers and Universal Trailers are synonymous in supplying rugged trailers suitable for both agricultural and commercial use and we are so grateful to have them associated with CowParade Surrey.”
The Surrey Hills Trust Fund was established in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to safeguard the future of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The Fund aims to conserve and maintain the fragile environment of the area through a programme of landscape conservation projects and community enterprise schemes.
Tim added: : “CowParade Surrey will help to promote the county as a whole which is often overlooked as a landscape but is in fact the country’s most wooded county with a thriving farming community.
“Being a farmer myself, I thought that bringing a life size art event to the county is a great way of engaging with the community and cows are obviously strongly symbolic of farming. CowParade is a global phenomenon and seemed the most appropriate tool to put Surrey on the map.”
Cows are gradually appearing throughout Surrey from June until the end of August. A specially designed app is free to download and allows the public to ‘check in’ to each cow as it’s found. Visitors are also able to discover facts about each cow, win rosettes, take part in quizzes and more.
Members of the public who find the most cows will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury Kuoni holiday for two to Mauritius.
For further information on CowParade and to download the app visit www.cowparadesurreyhills.com