The Winter Droving celebrates the old tradition of droving (driving) animals to markets and to new feeding grounds in our big and wild landscape. This practice has gone on for centuries; it made pathways, songlines, it brought people together, it developed trade, it is the basis of what made our rural communities. Out of this our market towns were born. England still has isolated rural communities far from the madding crowds of our urban centres, places that are both spiritual homes (for all of us) and remind us of how to be people and communities and yet are also are part of our new age of instant commerce and digital connection. Perhaps now more than ever we are challenged by the contradiction of the old and the new. The Winter Droving is an artists response to this challenge, how do we celebrate the past, how do we continue to be identifiable communities, how do we come together to be both strong about our heritage and economically progressive in our rural places?
Cultural identity and recognition of the arts as a social driver lays at the heart of the Winter Droving, a new tradition supported by both the Arts Council England and local funders, and by all those who took part and attended.
Music courtesy Fiona Clayton Band