Lord Provost to launch National Animal Day in Scotland

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh will this Friday ( August 21) visit the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s most famous and faithful dog to tie a knitted purple poppy on his metal collar ahead of the UK’s first National Animal Day, on Sunday August 23, 2020.

Councillor Frank Ross says he is delighted to be launching National Animal Day in Scotland at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. He explains: “Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray until he died himself on 14 January 1872. His story has resonated with people over the generations, and he stands as a symbol of kindness and loyalty.

This special day has been created to highlight the importance of animals, and is timely given the “significant” financial implications that animal welfare charities are facing in the Covid-19 crisis due to falling donations, the closure of charity shops and visitor centres to protect staff and volunteers, and the cancellation of events. Our own Riding of the Marches*, here in Edinburgh, which takes place every year in September and attracts over 20,000 visitors to the City, has been cancelled due to the pandemic. However, donations raised from the sale of purple poppy badges this year in Edinburgh will be used to make sure of the success of our event next year.

The day will honour the service of animals in war and provide a lasting legacy for animals in need. Despite coronavirus restrictions, thousands of volunteers and supporters are busy selling purple poppy pin and knitted poppy badges – the official emblem of the day – across Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. And knitted poppies have been created for horses, dogs and cats to wear to show the importance of animals in war and peacetime.

Edinburgh March Riding Association LTD Captain Elect Jay Sturgeon, and Monarch from Tower Farm Riding Stables. in the city.

We at War Horse Memorial have designated August 23 as National Animal Day following on from the unveiling of Poppy the National War Horse, in Berkshire. Our majestic bronze monument was sculptured by acclaimed British artist Susan Leyland and cast by the craftsmen and women at Black Isle Bronze in Inverness. We have worked from the outset with the Lord Provost and The Riding of the Marches team using the purple poppy emblem to raise funds towards the event, and our main picture shows us presenting the Lord Provost with a bronze horseshoe two year’s ago to symbolise the importance of Edinburgh and Scotland in our campaign. While we have been remembering horses, mules and donkeys with our purple poppies, you our supporters and volunteers have been reminding us that over two world wars tens of thousands of dogs and cats also perished. Their contribution and sacrifice was immeasurable, and yet little is said or done to commemorate the role they played – at home and on the battlefield. On August 23 we redress the balance. We are asking people to wear our purple poppy pin badges with pride and show support for all animals by honouring the service of animals in war to help us provide a lasting legacy for animals in need. And, thanks to kind-hearted knitters from across the UK and the Commonwealth, we are also able to offer three sizes of knitted poppies suitable for equines, dogs and cats. Please click on SHOP for more details.

Photocall details: 11am, Friday August 21, 2020: Rt. Hon. Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Councillor Frank Ross at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, south (main) entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard, 26A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE

Important Message About the Riding of the Marches 2020 –

The Edinburgh March Riding Association LTD has now taken the decision to cancel the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches 2020, which was scheduled for Sunday 13th September. This decision has been taken as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and current Government Guidance. We hope to return in 2021 with the full event, and will be in touch next year to engage any services which will be needed. We envisage the event taking on the same format as 2019, with some additions to make it bigger and better! I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the years, and wish you and your businesses all the best going forward, especially in these times. If you have any questions regarding the event, please dont hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to take calls and/or emails to discuss. Please pass this announcement onto any relevant parties.

Stuart Nicoll
The Edinburgh Riding of the Marches
Operations Director 07986 201 674

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