Well... what a year 2020 has been, eh?

2020 has been, in an effort to find the right words, the year that the world changed.

There's all kinds of things we could write to try and summarise what 2020 has been like for us all, but we figured the animation below might sum up it best.

Let's instead recap, celebrate, and highlight the good that came out of 2020, which by and large is all down to EWE, the Herdsters.

We are always so grateful to Herdy customers and fans, new and old-school, but we are increasingly thankful for your support in 2020. To put it simply, if it weren't for you, Herdy wouldn't exist.

Thank ewe.

Most popular content by a Herdster

Ruth Childs' custom Herdy face mask

By April 2020 it was becoming increasingly apparent that face masks were efficacious in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. We at Herdy had already started the preliminary design for our own Herdy Face Mask, but ewe Herdsters already beat us to it!

Ruth's homemade Herdy mask reached 26,480 people, saw 2,020 reactions, received 124 comments, and inspired 57 reshares around Facebook.

See the post on Facebook.

The Herdy content ewe loved the most in 2020

As the UK entered National Lockdown in March 2020, alongside other countries such as Italy and Spain, it didn't take long for that famous British sense of humour and "keep calm" attitude to emerge.

Jokes, memes, and funny images were created and reshared thousands of times around the internet, bonding people together in camaraderie and lifting spirits during unprecedented times.

We've always been about positivity at Herdy, our mission after all is to "spread smiles and happiness". So we joined in with a few memes of our own. One in particular, above, was posted towards the end of April 2020 and completely went viral.

The meme eventually reached 907,621 people, seeing 41,491 reactions, received 510 comments, and was reshared 7,391 times!

See the post on Facebook here.

2020: A Recap

January

In January 2020 we launched v2 of our supremely comfortable Herdysleep mattress.

Working alongside Harrison Spinks, we were able to remove the foam in the mattress and upgrade the spring system to Harrison Spinks' new Cortec™ system. This means that the new Herdysleep is now foam free, glue free, and 100% recyclable at end of life.

Good for ewe, the farmer, and the environment.

February

In February 2020 we unveiled a new venture: Herdy Campervans.

We were approached Martyn and Sara Merckel, a local couple who have a love for the Lake District, a sense of adventure, and a passion to get people camping. Having brought up their own two boys on the campsite they owned at Eskdale, Martyn and Sara know the benefits of shared family time in the great outdoors and were keen to get others enjoying holidays packed with fun and adventure.

Uninspired by the world of “beige” motorhomes, Sara contacted Spencer and Diane Hannah, founders of Herdy, and asked if this cute and lovable brand from the Lake District would like to go camping. And to her surprise the answer came back as a resounding “Yes”!

Our Herdysleep mattress was in the news again!

We were thrilled that the Herdysleep mattress received the London Evening Standard's "ES Best Top Pick" seal of approval!

You can read their recommendation here.

We also said farewell to Simon, Herdy’s dedicated warehouseman since 2009.

Simon had been with us since the days where the entirety of our product range fitted in a secondhand filling cabinet! Oh how times have moved on.

March

On the 18th March we made an announcement regarding the increasing severity of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

By the 4th March, worldwide cases of COVID-19—the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus—had reached 93,000 cases. We immediately reviewed and made changes to our hygiene and cleaning practises and monitored our team on a daily basis to check if they had been exposed to the virus or were showing symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Herdy announcement regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Herdy is spotted in an official NHS Recruitment video!

You can see the video here.

With the Coronavirus Pandemic growing evermore serious, and cases in the UK rising at an alarming rate, we took the sad decision on Saturday 21st March to close our Herdy Shops and Herdy HQ immediately.

Two days later, on Monday 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide national lockdown with immediate effect. On the same day, the UK alone reported 6,650 cases with 335 deaths.

Shopping was only allowed for essential items, such as food and medication, and people were only allowed to go outside for 1-hour's worth of exercise in their immediate environment, maintaining social distancing and regularly washing their hands. Video calls quickly became the norm as a way of staying in touch with friends, families, and loved ones.

The world had suddenly changed.

As the Coronavirus Pandemic intensified, nationwide appreciation developed towards NHS workers, and other key workers, who supported the population during this time.

A weekly show of appreciation developed, and so Clap for Our Carers as a campaign was born, largely credited to Annemarie Plas, a Dutch expatriate living in London.

We, of course, were more than happy to join in.

April

We felt a keen responsibility to help keep people's spirits up during an unprecedented pandemic.

And what better way to do that than with a video of a newborn Herdwick lamb?!

James Read, our Herdwick farmer friend in the Lincolnshire Wolds, shared this tender video with us; a rare glimpse at the life of a Herdwick farmer with a 5-minute old lamb.

On the 3rd April we announced the launch of Herdy Freebies.

We wanted to help us all keep smiling, keep the kids amused, keep fit, keep calm, and carry on as best we can, so we provided (and regularly added) free to download fun wallpapers, printables, and more.

Herdy Freebies would turn out to be one of the best things we did in all of 2020.

By the 6th April we launched the "Herdy Heroes" campaign.

Every Monday, we asked ewe Herdsters on social media to nominate a "Herdy Hero"; someone who has gone above and beyond in your local community. They didn’t have to work in the NHS; perhaps your Herdy Hero was a neighbour who gets your shopping and checks on you, or maybe a postie who lifts your spirits with a daily chat?

We then selected a "winner" every Friday and designed a customised eCard to be sent to the chosen nominee.

On Friday 10th April we announced our 1st Herdy Heroes "winner": Nigel at Windermere Post Office.

He was nominated by Sue Hazlehurst, who added:

Nigel at Windermere Post Office has gone above and beyond the call of duty, even saying if anyone has an emergency when he’s closed, as he lives above, will open and sort it. A well deserving Herdy Hero.

Nigel would become one of many Herdy Heroes that were celebrated.

Back at "Herdy HQ" (or in other words, our homes as we were all working from home), a plan started to form in our minds...

On the 25th April we posted on our social media a cute little "lockdown meme", a little something to chuckle at and then little more of it.

A couple of days later the meme went viral and ultimately reached 907,621 people, seeing 41,491 reactions, received 510 comments, and was reshared 7,391 times!

May

In early May, Joel Pennington contacted us.

He was raising funds for the North Lakes Foodbank, who provide 3 days worth of emergency food supplies to people in need in Allerdale and Copeland.

And he was doing this by having his wonderful "fleece" of hair shaved off! And if he raised over £1,000 his gorgeous "sheepyhead" mop would be cut with garden shears!

We were delighted to help amplify his cause.

We started to amass quite the collection of Herdy Heroes...

In early May, Tim Jones was selected as the week's Herdy Hero. He became known as "Tim Jones the Singing Policeman", and was nominated by Carol Capper who said:

Tim Jones, a policeman who is keeping thousands entertained with his (mainly) daily songs. He has been amazing lifting everyone’s spirits with the the songs & smiles plus he is a key worker too.

You can read about him on Gloucestershire Live here.

Towards the end of May we gave a sneak peek (or a sneak Peep) of our upcoming Herdy Heroes Tea Towel. Thankfully, ewe lovely lot seemed to really like the look of it!

We also asked for your feedback; we wanted to use a chunk of the proceeds from the sale of the tea towels to help raise funds for a charity, or indeed charities.

Ewe Herdsters were not short of ideas!

June

Proof, if any were ever needed, that ewe Herdsters are the loveliest (and most insane) fans anyone could ask for!

Caroline and Lindsey, of Girlguiding Cumbria South, put together this Herdy 100m Dash, where each Herdy represents a different area within Cumbria. Who will win?!

On the 9th June we launched something of a surprise for everyone: the "Lake District Edition" Monopoly board game, complete with exclusive Herdy Game Token!

We sold out of our initial stock in perhaps just an hour so, and scrambled to urgently order more!

We introduced Safety Herdy on the 10th June.

We wanted to create a friendly and welcoming face whilst we made preparations for re-opening our Herdy shops.

We've also designed some Safety Sign Sets, free to download and print regardless of whether you're a shop/community hall/info centre or whatever.

On the 12th June we were thrilled and so relieved to announce that our Herdy Shops would be reopening from Monday 15th June.

We're revised our opening times, too. Bowness/Grasmere/Keswick would be open 7 days a week from 10:30am–5:30pm, and Kendal will be open Wednesday–Saturday 10:30am–5:30pm. The later opening time allowed us to thoroughly deep clean the shops every day.

We also provided hand sanitiser for customers to use when entering the shops, requested a maximum number of customers at any one time and, of course, adhered to social distancing measures.

It was so nice to see ewe all again!

Back in the world of camper vans, we further announced on 18th June that Herdy Campervans were once again taking bookings.

Where would you take your Herdy Campervan?

We introduced Guide Herdy on 23rd June; who provided some tips for when people started visiting the Lake District once again, as more businesses and accommodation were reopening.

July

As we entered the peak of a sweltering, if wet, Lake District summer, we announced which four charities the proceeds of the upcoming Herdy Heroes tea towel would raise funds for.

The charities chosen, based on all the Herdsters feedback we received, were:

  • NHS Charities Together, #1186569
  • Great North Air Ambulance Charity, #1092204
  • Cumbria Community Foundation, #1075120
  • The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, #506349

The Herdy Heroes tea towel launched on Sunday 5th July, to coincide with the NHS' 72nd birthday, and we set a goal of raising £20,000 by Christmas 2020.

On the 9th July we announced what became the biggest product launch of the year: the new Herdy Smile Face Masks.

Our entire initial website stock of face masks sold out in 30 minutes, which was understandably frustrating! Thankfully we have the loveliest customers and ewe were happy to wait whilst we got more on order.

The Horse & Farrier Inn took advantage of our Safety Herdy Freebies and printed out the signage for the reopening of their beautiful Inn.

We have a strong tradition in our Herdy comm-ewe-nity of celebrating some rather talented home bakers.

Ruth Evans showed us her efforts in July by sharing some photos of her Super Herdy outfit she made for her Little Herdy, plus a Herdy cake!

See the post on Facebook here.

With more businesses in the Lake District reopening post-lockdown, GB Herdy decided that a cruise around Windermere with Windermere Lake Cruises was a well-deserved treat.

It was fantastic to see that Molly-Mae from Love Island fame had excellent taste in mugs!

We were alerted to this in Molly's Evening Skincare Routine Youtube Video.

In less than a month ewe had already raised over £5,000 for charity via the sales of the new Herdy Heroes tea towel!

More talented Herdy bakers!

Kay from New Zealand emailed us these photos; she baked lemon shortbread Herdy biscuits for a departing work colleague, using our cookie cutters. A Herdy farm scene!

August

In August we had the lovely Helen visit our Grasmere shop with her own Herdy mask, made from the Hiker tea towel!

Isn't it baa-rilliant?

On the 4th August Rachel Gage shared with us some of the best #HerdySmileSelfies ever, complete with a Herdy Campervan!

Check out the selfies here.

Long-time Herdy fan and Herdy shop visitor, Susan, finally realises a dream by moving to Cumbria in August.

To say farewell to her former co-workers, Susan crafted her own custom pencil cases and key fobs as parting gifts, all made from our range of tea towels!

We announced an August update on the Herdy Heroes tea towel fundraiser; ewe had raised over £11,000 already!

Even more Herdy baking! But of a different kind this time.

Julie emailed us a photo of her beautiful Herdy naan breads, made with the help of our Cookie Cutters! Definitely the first time we've ever seen this.

September

As Summer slowly cooled into Autumn, Josh, Clare, and family had a fab-ewe-lous time exploring Dumfries & Galloway in their Herdy Campervans.

See their Facebook post for more gorgeous photos.

Also in September, Angela sent us possibly one of the greatest #HerdySmileSelfies we've ever seen.

Still gives us a chuckle looking at it now!

We got a September update about our Herdy Heroes tea towel fundraiser, and were thrilled to learn that ewe had all raised over £13,500 for charity!

In September we also learned that our designer's dog, Saszka, really likes her Herdy Hot Water Bottle. Awww...

By the end of September 2020 we expanded and launched our Herdy Country bag range!

It now includes a beautifully constructed backpack, a handy travel wash bag, and a seek mini tote. All made to a very high spec, using Lake District Herdwick wool, and completely artisan handmade in England.

We started making plans for our upcoming Christmas products in September, one of which would be some new Christmas card designs.

We opened up part of the development process to ewe Herdsters, by running a little competition: whoever provided the best Christmas/Herdy-related verse would have it featured in our Christmas cards; the winner would also be "Herdyfied" and featured on the back of all our Christmas cards!

October

Once in October, we announced the winner of our Christmas Card competition: and it was Kathryn Sharples, a unanimous victory!

Her verse is as follows:

Twas the night before Christmas,
and Santa did weep...
"I've lost all my reindeer;
I'll need to use sheep!"
The Herdys were willing,
and off they all flew,
saying "Season's Best Bleatings:
Happy Christmas to EWE!"

It was great to meet the High Sheriff of Cumbria and Mayor Alvin Finch on their visit to Herdy HQ.

Everyone was looking splendid in their Herdy face masks!

On the back of our Herdy Heroes tea towels, we were approached by Kerry of "Max Out In The Lakes" fame to collaborate on a Herdy/Max mug design.

So we created this special mug featuring Max, Paddy & Harry (& Herdy of course!) It sold out in 6 minutes!

It was rainy, drizzly, and misty, but that didn't stop Herdy from making friends with Rich Uncle Pennybags, aka Mr. Monopoly!

November

In early November, with signs indicating that a second wave of COVID-19 cases was occurring, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 2nd England-wide lockdown from the 5th November, lasting for one month.

This meant that we had to close our Herdy Shops once again, during a crucial period in the retail calendar year.

Despite our Herdy Shops closing our website was still fully rocking the Christmas spirit! With winter fast approaching we launched a new range of winter woolly hats, for both kids and adults, in a variety of styles and designs.

We were so grateful that ewe all really loved them!

It was a late October update but we were still floored with the news that our Herdy Heroes tea towel had raised over £17,000 for charity!

We were fast gaining on our £20,000 goal to reach before Christmas 2020. Would we reach it?

Speaking of tea towels, it was also in November that we announced the availability of our new 2020 Christmas Tea Towel!

The magnificent talent of the Herdster baking comm-ewe-nity was in full flow once again!

Sarah made this wonderful Herdy cake for her friend, Katherine, who turned 50. Isn't it baaa-rilliant?

We were looking for a "gorgeous blonde" to model our upcoming Herdy Country hat range.

Saszka, one of the Herdy HQ dogs, wasn't quite what we had in mind. Still beautiful, though!

After Sarah's Herdy cake for her friend, Becky sent us this photo of her incredible Herdwick cake.

Becky's other half is the grandson of the renowned Jean Wilson, the "Queen of Herdwicks", who farm Herdwick sheep at Dockray, near Ullswater.

That's why this Herdy cake has a flock mark cut out from ear, to match the Dockray flock lug mark.

By the end of November our Herdy Heroes tea towel was closing in on the £20,000 goal by raising over £19,500 for charity! So close...

December

Before we knew it December rolled around and the Christmas season was well and truly thriving!

The England-wide Lockdown ended Wednesday 2nd December and we were overjoyed to get our Christmas-decorated Herdy Shops back open and welcoming everyone once again.

We also got our first snow of the season!

On the 8th December, the big news arrived: ewe had all hit the £20,000 goal for charity funds raised via the Herdy Heroes tea towel!

Let's see if we can reach £25,000 raised before the end of 2020 and the finish this difficult year on a high.

More talented bakery!

Evana tagged us in this frankly incredible Little Hiker Herdy cake she made for her 4-year old's birthday... and it's just amazing.

We did another mug collaboration!

To mark the launch of the newly restored waterwheel in the Coppermines Valley, Coppermines & Lakes Cottages teamed up with Herdy to produce a commemorative, limited edition mug that features a unique, copper Herdy and friends getting up to mischief in Coppermines Valley!

You can win a Limited Edition Herdy Coppermines Mug and a holiday in one of their Mountain Cottages. Just go here.

You can purchase a Limited Edition Herdy Coppermines Mug (only 1,000 made) right here.

Even more talented bakery!

Jodie Texeira shared with us this photo of her daughter's Herdy Birthday Cake, made by the talented Abigail Lily Cakes.

See the post here.

We were tagged by Charlotte Logie (@girlscanrun) who posted her wonderful Herdy Gingerbread she made!

You can do so, too, by following our Yan Gingerbread tutorial.

Here's to a MUCH better 2021