The Sheep Drive & Livery Fair 2024 will be taking place on Southwark Bridge (and Queen Street & Queen Street Place) on Sunday 29th September 2024.

Watch this space for more information.


Richard Corrigan, Chef and Farmer’s son said: “That was an amazing experience, humbled. I am humbled, no question about it. London has always delivered a lot of new surprises, new experiences, but I honestly don’t think I am ever going to live this one down. Bringing sheep over the bridge, I know what it’s like to be a shepherd as well. Just keep them moving, keep them moving, there is always a frying pan at the end of their journey, especially with me.

The sheep represent commerce, they represent food and substance when there is nothing to eat. I know all the difficulties of making a meagre living on the land so I have huge respect for sheep farmers.

It brings it all together, Sheep represent the whole City of London for the last 1000 years or more. It’s part of its wealth making, it’s part of its success, part of its taxation, it’s what made the City of London. And for everyone to understand that, to see the sheep coming over the Bridge is really cool”.

Master Woolman Vincent Kearney CBE (former Lord Mayor of London) says “It was fantastic. It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate one of the great London traditions, bringing sheep over a City bridge, a London bridge, something the Freemen of the City of London have done for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s such a fun and slightly crazy thing to do, it’s a great day.

There are two reasons we do it, firstly because it’s such a great London tradition, it’s important we keep some of these traditions alive. Freemen of the City of London have been driving sheep over the bridges over the River Thames, along with other cattle, for hundreds and hundreds of years, because they were able to take their sheep and cattle into the City without paying a toll, so it was a really valuable right. More sheep came over London Bridge than any other animal, so people associated the right to bring your livestock into the City with sheep, and that’s what we’re celebrating today. But we’re doing it for a purpose, we’re doing it to support charities, the Woolmen’s own charity, and we also support the Lord Mayor’s charity, so we’re doing good but also having a lot of fun.

The Livery Fair is a great opportunity for the Livery Companies, many of which still have living crafts and trades associated with them, to showcase those to the public. We’ve also got some businesses, who are working with wool in innovative and new ways, exhibiting their products. It is a great new part of the wool industry”.

Kate Humble Announced as Celebrity Guest of 2022 Annual Sheep Drive and Livery Fair in the City of London

The Worshipful Company of Woolmen is delighted to announce that farmer, best-selling author and one of the UK’s most-loved broadcasters, Kate Humble will be bringing her passion for nature to the City of London, in support of the Woolmen’s 2022 charity Sheep Drive & Livery Fair, taking place on Sunday 25th September.

Kate will be coming from her Wye Valley farm to join The Lord Mayor of London, The Rt Hon Vincent Keaveny, in leading Freemen of the City of London in a Ewe-nique annual livery event re-enacting a Freemen’s ancient right to herd sheep to market over London Bridge, toll-free. Now celebrating its 10th year, Freemen of the City of London flock to book their places on what is always a sell-out event – with 2022 being no exception. Funds raised support the Woolmen’s Charity and Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

Kate will also be attending the open-to-all and free Livery Fair, taking place nearby on the piazza at The Monument. Fascinating displays of traditional Livery Company and wool trades and crafts, including sheep shearing, will take place throughout the day. The Livery Fair is a fantastic day out for all the family and a fun reminder of the abiding and vital connection between city and nature.

About Kate Humble
Kate Humble is renowned for her love of nature and the countryside and became familiar to many as a presenter on BBC Countryfile, Lambing Live and Springwatch programmes. Kate and husband Ludo moved from London and purchased a smallholding in the Wye Valley, Wales. Over the last 10 years, they have transformed a small working farm into Humble by Nature, a thriving rural skills and animal husbandry centre. At Humble by Nature visitors come from all over the country and learn how to start their own smallholdings, keep traditional rural crafts and skills alive, and re-connect with the land. Kate has shared the joys and challenges of a farming life through Channel Five’s, Escape to The Farm and inspired by the popularity of her cooking on Escape to the Farm, Kate recently published her debut cookbook; Home Cooked – a celebration of simple, seasonal home cooking, full of flavour, comfort and joy.

Kate Humble:
“I’m hugely honoured to participate in this year’s Sheep Drive and Livery Fair. An incredible spectacle that commemorates London’s connection to the countryside, celebrates the many uses of wool and its natural complement to modern living.”

Peter Ackroyd MBE, COO, The Campaign for Wool – Headline Sponsor:
“Kate Humble is a wonderful advocate for nature and living naturally. The Campaign for Wool is delighted Kate is supporting this year’s Sheep Drive and Livery Fair, helping spread the word about wool and its unassailable environmental credentials; widely recognised as one of the most sustainable and versatile fibres in the world and as relevant to the very fabric of society today as it has ever been – whether for personal attire, in the home, or for its many fascinating 21st Century industrial uses.”

Join us on Social Media

Twitter: @SheepDriveLDN Instagram: @SheepDriveLondon Facebook: WorshipfulCompanyofWoolmen

#SheepInTheCity #DestinationCity #SquareSmile #ChooseWool #Wool #KateHumble #KateHumblesFarm #Sheep #SheepDrive #LiveryFair #VisitTheMonument #Charity #TheLordMayorsAppeal @LMAppeal @TheWoolmen T: @farmerhumble I: @farmerhumble FB: @HumbleByNature

The Lord Mayor and “Harlequin” launch this year’s London Bridge Sheep Drive

Organised for charity by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen

On-line Bookings now Open!

Sunday 25th September 2022
Charity Sheep Drive – for Freemen, family and friends: taking place on London Bridge
Livery Fair – open to all and free to enter: at The Monument

See ewe there!

Calling all Freemen; book your place now for yourself, your family and your friends for the 2022 London Bridge Sheep Drive. Children are most welcome!
The Lord Mayor, also a Woolman, welcomed an unusual visitor to Mansion House to officially declare that the Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Sheep Drive is open for bookings. “Harlequin”, a crossbreed ewe from the Woodlands Farm Trust, a City Farm, accompanied the Master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, and distinguished guests. This ewe-nique annual City event will be held on London Bridge in 2022 with a magnificent Livery Fair at The Monument.

Sheep Drive: London Bridge
Freemen can book there places on the drive here. Over 1,000 Freemen are expected to exercise their ancient right to drive sheep to market over the Thames, toll-free. This great livery occasion will once again be in aid of the Woolmen’s Charity and Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Hurry as bookings have previously quickly sold out!

Livery Fair: The Monument, Free to enter
Join us at the wonderful Livery Fair, located at the north end of London Bridge on the piazza adjacent to The Monument – one of the City’s most loved visitor attractions. Livery and specialist wool companies will be celebrating their trades and crafts with interactive displays and sale of their wares. Other fun activities will include expert blade shearing displays and some wonderful rare breed sheep!

Worshipful Company of Woolmen:
“This eagerly-anticipated charity event in the Livery calendar returns to London Bridge for 2022. The Woolmen organise our unique charity fundraising event for all Freemen of the City of London, their families and friends. We look forward to welcoming many livery company members to drive sheep over the Thames and to join us for a marvellous Livery Fair at The Monument. This is sure to be a vibrant and fun day out in the City with the chance to delve into the fascinating history of the livery trades, alongside wonderful wool stalls and even a few sheep… A fantastic family day out.”

The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveny:
As Lord Mayor and also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, I am delighted to be taking part in this year’s Sheep Drive and visiting the Livery Fair. I would like to thank the Freemen, Livery Companies, The Campaign for Wool and all our sponsors raising funds for the Woolmen’s Charity and Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Sheep Drive and Livery Fair remind us all that the link between City and Wool remains as important to us today as it has ever been.”

Peter Ackroyd MBE, COO, The Campaign for Wool:
“Wool is widely recognised as one of the most sustainable and versatile fibres in the world and is as relevant to the very fabric of society today as it has ever been – whether for personal attire and home use or for its many fascinating 21st Century industrial and construction uses.”

About Harlequin and the Woodlands Farm Trust.
Harlequin, named for her half-black, half-white face, is a crossbreed ewe who would normally be chewing the cud at a 36-hectare working city farm between Greenwich and Bexley with cattle, sheep, pigs and hens. As well as being open to the public six days a week, the Trust has over 4,000 educational visits a year and runs a weekend club for 11 to 18-year-olds. Three full-time employees, and 60 volunteers help run the farm.
David Jones, Farm Manager, Woodlands Farm Trust:
“City farms are important; they can show the urban population the origin of food on their plate and also in our case first-hand experience on how farming can work with nature.”

The Yorkshire Shepherdess to lead City of London Annual SHEEP DRIVE

The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, swaps the Yorkshire Dales for the day, to drive sheep over the river Thames, re-enacting an ancient tradition in support of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Charitable Trust and Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Photo: courtesy of Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Best-selling author of four books and star of Channel 5’s “Our Yorkshire Farm”, Amanda will be swapping her 2000 acre hill farm in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, one of the most remote places in England, for the City of London for the day, on Sunday 26th September. Amanda will accompany the Lord Mayor of London, The Right Honourable William Russell, and hundreds of the City’s Freemen, becoming river shepherds for the day to practice their ancient “right” to drive sheep over the Thames and into the City.  

Now into its 9th year, hosted by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, the 2021 Sheep Drive and Livery Fair will take place on historic Southwark Bridge, which will be traffic-free for the day. 

The accompanying Livery Fair will include many Liveries demonstrating their skills from trades, ancient and modern, alongside a range of wool related stalls selling products that showcase the enduring relevance of wool as a sustainable and versatile material. Along with other interactive displays and food and drinks stalls, this will be a wonderful family day out over the majestic Thames.

Alderman Sir David Wootton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen said:

“We are delighted to welcome Amanda Owen to shepherd our sheep expertly over Southwark Bridge. As we re-enact this ancient tradition, amidst Livery Fair displays, I’m sure the Livery’s long-standing contribution to the fabric of the City and wider community through trade and philanthropy will resonate with us all. Wool, with its the enduring and sustainable qualities, being just one of those trades, is as relevant to our needs today as it was centuries ago.”

Amanda Owen, The Yorkshire Shepherdess said:

“When the Sheep Drive & Livery Fair invited me to be their guest, saying yes was an easy decision to make. This event is so prestigious to be involved in, one which carries years of history and I’m so proud to be able to lead the first drive of sheep across Southwark Bridge on 26thSeptember. Sheep are central to my life and this celebration of them will be a day to remember.”

Commenting on behalf of headline Sponsors, Campaign for Wool, Peter Ackroyd, COO said:

“Campaign for Wool is delighted to support the Sheep Drive which aligns with the start of the all-important Autumn/Winter wool retail season in London and across the UK. The Sheep Drive is a perfect curtain raiser for ‘Wool Week’ starting on the 4 October through to the end of October highlighting key wool product launches and wool collections across the home and fashion sectors with brands and retailers throughout the UK. This year the focus will be on ‘Feel Better #ChooseWool’ and how through choosing wool you feel emotionally better that you have made the right choice for the planet, sleep better and can take comfort in wool’s natural safety credentials in the home and office environment.”

Coronavirus Update: Postponement to Sept 2021

Sheep Drive & Livery Fair planned for September 27th 2020 – Postponed to 2021

We hope all of our friends and supporters are keeping safe and well during these challenging times.

As you would expect, the organising committee of the Sheep Drive and Livery Fair have been closely monitoring developments and consulting widely about arrangements for our events this year.

Our aim has always been to deliver an event that is a safe, fun day out, celebrating the ancient tradition of a Freeman’s right to drive their sheep to market over London Bridge, tariff-free, and through this unique event, raise funds for the Woolmen’s Charitable Trust and Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

It is with considerable regret that we have decided to postpone the planned Sheep Drive and Livery Fair on Sunday 27th September, which this year was due to take place on Southwark Bridge, allowing for essential works taking place on London Bridge.

We have looked at different models for running the Sheep Drive, abiding by government approved social distancing and safety guidelines for gatherings in public spaces and outdoor activities. Sadly, our view is that these would require us to limit numbers significantly and also alter the format of the day to such an extent that it would impact participants’ enjoyment and the additional costs involved reduce the overall charitable contribution we can make from the event.

We are mindful that Government guidelines continue to evolve, however, in order to allow for essential planning time, including that of all of our fantastic volunteers and supporters, we feel that the decision on this September’s event needs to be taken now. Hopefully this also mitigates against the potential risk of a short notice cancellation if stricter measures were to be reintroduced.

New Date for your Diary: 26th September 2021!

We know that many of you will be equally as disappointed as we are. However, we hope you will be delighted to hear that this means that we are now turning our minds fully to planning for a fantastic Sheep Drive and Livery Fair on the 26th September 2021, when we can all look forward to an amazing day.

We thank you for your continuing support and we very much look forward to remaining in contact with you as we plan for 2021. Meanwhile, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Watch this space… In the meantime, we will keep you updated regarding arrangements for booking in 2021. Also check out our social media where we will be following the stories of the team – that’s both two legged and four – as we launch our plans, with some updates and nuggets of news along the way!

Twitter: @SheepDriveLDN
Instagram: Sheepdriveldn
Facebook: TheWorshipfulCompanyofWoolmen

Sheep Drive 2019 Photographs

Thank you to everyone who joined the Sheep Drive and end enjoyed the Livery Fair 2019.

Led by the Lord Mayor and The Rt Hon Michael Portillo, over 600 people drove sheep and over 70 livery companies were represented on the Bridge. 

The huge sum of money raised will be used for charitable purposes supported by the Woolmen’s charities and the Lord Mayor’s charities.

Gerald Sharp took many photographs on the day. To see these and order photographs please go to

Thank you. The Sheep Drive and Livery Fair Team

Lloyd’s Motor Club classic car display

Members of the Lloyd’s Motor Club will be exhibiting some of their most-loved classic cars in an exclusive display on Sunday 29th September.

The exhibition, which will allow visitors to get up close to some of the most iconic motorcars of the last 100 years will take place at Leadenhall Market and link up with the charity Sheep Drive and Livery Fair at The Monument. 

Those on display will include an MGTC, Porsche 997, Morgan Plus 4, Jensen 541, Ferrari F430 and Rolls Royce Silver Spur as well as a Morris Traveller, and a Fiat Spider. 

The Cars will arrive at 8.30am and will be there until 4pm.

Chamberlain’s (said to serve the finest fish and chips in the City) will be open as well as Brokers, Cheese, Pizza Express and two iconic City pubs The Lamb and New Moon – at any of which visitors can enjoy a light lunch or refreshments. 

Also open is the wonderful jewellery and fine watch specialist Beau Gems.

For those interested, the full list of cars is: 

Fiat Spider
Jaguar C-Type
Ferrari 512 TR
Ferrari 365
Citroen CX
Lexus LC
Morris Traveller
Porsche 997
Rolls Royce Silver Spur
Ferrari F430
Jaguar XK140

Porsche 997
Morgan Plus 4
Jensen 541

The Rt. Hon Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo
Michael Portillo

The Rt Hon Michael Portillo will be our Celebrity Guest opening the Sheep Drive on 29th September 2019.

Michael is excited at the prospect of moving from driving engines to driving sheep.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE opened the Sheep Drive on 30th September 2018

Alan exchanged his trusty trowel and spade for a shepherd’s crook and put his many skills to good use in driving sheep over London Bridge.  After working as a gardener in a nursery in his native Yorkshire, Alan Titchmarsh trained and subsequently taught at Kew Gardens before becoming a journalist – first as a gardening books editor and then on gardening magazines.  He began broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 in 1977 and has not been off the airwaves ever since.  Alan went freelance in the late 1970s, earning his living by writing for newspapers and magazines and by broadcasting. He became a regular on Radio 4 and subsequently on Radio 2.  His first television appearance was on BBC Nationwide in 1979 which led to a regularly weekly appearance on Nationwide until moving to BBC Breakfast Time in 1984 where his brief was expanded to cover the British countryside as well as gardening. 

            In 1986 he was asked to diversify even further by presenting Open Air from BBC Manchester, and the following year he began a ten-year stint at Pebble Mill in Birmingham where he hosted a magazine programme which eventually became a chat show.  Since then he has appeared on Songs of Praise, Gardeners’ World and the record-breaking Ground Force (12 million viewers) which established Alan as a household name, and he was instrumental in designing and making a garden in South Africa for Nelson Mandela.

Alan writes for such diverse publications as Amateur Gardening, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, Homes and Gardens, Country Life, The Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.  Over the last forty years Alan has written more than fifty gardening books, several books on the countryside and other subjects as varied as The Queen’s houses and a Christmas anthology. He has also penned three volumes of memoirs. In 1998 he wrote his first novel – Mr MacGregor.  Another nine novels followed and all ten have made the Sunday Times Bestseller List.

            British Isles, a Natural History and The Nature of Britain were landmark series made for BBC1 and since then Alan has appeared on ITV in his own chat show: The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Love Your Garden, and Masterpiece.  He presented The BBC Proms for four years and has compered the Windsor pageants for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 90th birthday celebrations.  He also presents Secrets of the National Trust on Channel 5 and in 2018 his debut album of poetry, accompanied by Debbie Wiseman’s music, The Glorious Garden, went to number one in the Classical Music Charts.

            He is Chancellor of the University of Winchester, a Freeman of the City of London, Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, the recipient of four honorary degrees, a Vice-President of the Royal Horticultural Society and a holder of the society’s highest award – the Victoria Medal of Honour.  He was appointed MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list, was High Sheriff of The Isle of Wight in 2008-9 and is president or patron of more than forty charities.  He considers himself a very lucky man and puts his ability to multi-task down to having a tolerant wife and enjoying a good night’s sleep.

Mary Berry opened Sheep Drive 2017

Mary Berry CBE opened the 2017 sheep drive across London Bridge and the wool fair on Sunday 24th September.

Mary Berry

Mary Berry opened the 2017 Sheep Drive across London Bridge and Wool Fair at Monument on Sunday 24th September.  Accompanied by her grandchildren, Abbi and Hobie, she led the way with the Master Woolman, Chris Thierry, and showed she knew a thing or two about sheep.  As the drive started, one or two sheep decided they might try and go back to their pen, but Mary showed everyone how to use a shepherd’s crook to get them back on track and heading for Southwark.

The well-known cook, food writer and television presenter is a Freeman of the City of London and soon had the sheep under control. The Great British Bake Off judge exchanged her apron and food mixer for a woollen suit and a shepherd’s crook for the occasion.

She was joined during the day by 600 other Freemen who drove the sheep back and forth across the bridge in relays, exercising their ancient right, and raising over £26,000 for charity in the process.  Mary said: “The sheep were exceedingly well-behaved. I think they have done it before.  A lot of people are here who will never have seen sheep other than a roast lamb on a Sunday.” Mary certainly put paid to the old show biz adage about not working with children or animals!  Thank ewe, Mary!

Mary Berry’s career has encompassed a wide variety of experience including radio, television and writing books. Best known recently for the wonderful BBC series of The Great British Bake Off, which has run for seven years.

She has received many awards for cooking, baking and television programmes; and for her books. In 2014 she became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers and then a Freeman of the City of London.

She was appointed CBE in 2012 Birthday Honours and the same year was awarded an honorary degree by Bath Spa University; and she has Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Guild of Food Writers, Aga Rayburn and Observer Food Monthly.