1. ITV Report

Electric sheep cars flock to Lakeland businesses

Sethera and Lethera have gone to The Quiet Site near Ullswater Photo: ITV News Border

On a wet day in the Lake District, what's a tourist to do? You could go for a drive, but burning petrol, means global warming and more rain...

So now the County Council has come up with a Cumbrian solution: electric cars, made to look like sheep.

A flock of electric cars designed as sheep have now started their new lives as alternative transport for tourists at popular businesses around the North Lakes.

  • The cars are Renault Twizys
  • They have a maximum speed of 50mph
  • Their range on one charge is 40 miles
  • From Ullswater, you could get to Ambleside, Penrith or Keswick without recharging.
  • It charges itself as you're going downhill.
  • Of course, it uses more power going uphill too!
It's hoped the Renault Twizys will lower carbon emissions in Cumbria Credit: ITV News Border

They can be hired from places around Keswick, Ullswater and Penrith for £10 an hour, £25 for a half day, or £45 for a full day.

The hope is people will leave the car at home, perhaps arrive by train, because there's another option if they want to go further than public transport allows.

"It damages the environment if there's lots of cars on the road, it's not a nice place to drive around if you're sitting in queues of traffic, so the Twizy provides a low-emissions, sustainable way of travelling around the area. They're completely silent, it's peaceful, you can explore the nooks and crannies of the Lake District in a fun and quirky way."

– Nicola Parker, Cumbria County Council 'See More' Programme
They've been designed to look like sheep, after the famous Cumbrian herdwicks Credit: ITV News Border

There are 10 sheep twizys around Penrith, Keswick and Ullswater. They're numbered in the Cumbria or Westmorland dialects.

Around Keswick and Borrowdale you'll find Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera and Pip. Around Penrith and Ullswater you'll find Hovera, Dovera, Dec and Sethera and Lethera.

'Yan, tan, tethera', was originally a sheep counting system used by shepherds, the words used differed slightly from region to region. The names used for the cars have been taken from different parts of Cumbria.

  • Yan = 1
  • Tyan = 2
  • Tethera = 3
  • Methera = 4
  • Pip = 5
  • Sethera = 6
  • Lethera = 7
  • Hovera = 8
  • Dovera = 9
  • Dec = 10
Number 7, Lethera, lives at The Quiet Site, Watermillock, near Ullswater Credit: ITV News Border

"A lot of people they might just use it as a form of transport because we get a lot of motorhomes that don't bring vehicles and they kind of feel like they're stuck here but if they have these to hire they can kind of get out and about. They've basically just been couples because they're two seaters and they've just been kind of travelling around Glenridding and other places, which are tourist attractions really."

– Sarah Lightburn, The Quiet Site, Watermillock

So far, they're popular as a quirky thing to do, rather than a different mode of transport, but it's boosting business' green credentials, and could make a holiday in the Lake District more sustainable.