An unBALEevable effort went in to this year’s Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) Bale Art competition with 50 showstopping entries covering the length and breadth of Scotland.

Young Farmers’ clubs across the country were tasked with the challenge to bring a smile to the nation in support of rural charity RSABI’s #KeepTalking campaign.

All entries took their own unique twist on this year’s theme ‘something to smile about’ and highlighted the importance of looking after our mental health by keeping in touch.

In light of the recent pandemic, some of the bale art creations also served as a thank you to the key workers who continued to support the country during Lockdown and shared key messages from the pandemic.

It was one of those very creations by Lower Speyside YFC – displayed at the Kinloss junction A96 – which was awarded the win with its ‘This Little Piggy’ inspired structure encouraging people to ‘stay at home’.

Bathgate JAC’s ‘Lets beat COVID hands down’ took the runner-up spot with their hand standing bears commanding attention at junction 3A on the M8.

Third place was awarded to Forfar JAC’s ‘Not all heroes wear capes’, which was admired on the A90 north of Dundee.

The SF were tasked with the unenviable job of choosing the final 12 from a fantastic array of entries but the final three was whittled down by Alan Laidlaw of RHASS, Alice Wilson of Galbraith and Ewan Pate of RSABI.

SAYFC’s national chair, Gemma Bruce commented: “It has been fantastic to see members embrace this year’s Bale Art theme, ‘something to make you smile’ in support of the RSABI #KeepTalking campaign and they have relished the challenge under Government guidelines and social distancing. We have also been delighted to have Galbraith on board supporting this event for a second year.”

Galbraith associate Alice Wilson added: “We were presented with an excellent array of bale art creations from 12 clubs across the country, all varied in size, colour and portrayal. The one key theme which was consistent through all of the final designs was their ability to make the public smile, something which in this current climate is so important. After much deliberation, we felt the Lower Speyside’s take on ‘This Little Piggy’ stayed at home was the deserving winner having met the remit, had a clear message - particularly given the current pandemic - and of course made us smile,” she concluded.