The Great British Farming Experience
RARE BREEDS @ SACREWELL FARM
Over the past year you may have noticed some changes happening around the site, this may have been the layout, outdoor play areas, even in the new artisan courtyard and paddocks. You may have also noticed that our animals have been changing too.
But why is this happening?
Back in 2019 the team got together to discuss the future of Sacrewell & what direction we would like to take it in. We have implemented some commercial changes with the new play area, artisan courtyard and ever improving events on site. Alongside this the farm has been slowly working on improving our educational offering without losing the viewing and variety of animals for everyone to see.
We have remained a working farm to preserve the William Scott Abbot Trust objectives in education and strive to continually promote sustainable farming practices. We are only a little farm and so commercial running just was not an option to keep all the animals varied, fit, healthy and comfortable.
Enter Seren the Suffolk punch horse, she was our first rare breed and sparked the passion we have begun to grow across the site to include animals rare and at risk, each offering their own unique and fascinating stories. UK native and Rare Breeds have a lower impact on land and are quite literally designed to thrive in UK weathers.
This will be a gradual process however with continual paddock improvements accompanying each change, including enrichment and environments for livestock and wildlife to thrive side by side.
The horses kick started this change we began with just Seren accompanied by Secret the Cleveland Bay kindly on loan to us by Bruce Thorpley. Seren is in fact expecting her second foal this spring. We also welcomed Grace in July 2020 who will also be having her foal a few weeks after Seren. We are excited to be expecting both girls back from stud with their foals accompanying them in May 2021- the paddock will seem very empty whilst these girls are away!
The second stage involved our sheep, taking into consideration our paddock sizes and naturally requiring more space to facilitate breeding programmes and new life in the spring we began with just 3 Boreray ewes who had 3 lambs at Sacrewell easter 2020, the same 3 ewes will be again expecting in the spring 2021 and their 2 ewe lambs from last year will be entered into the breeding programme this autumn completing our little flock of 5 ewes and 1 ram.
We also have our second rare breed of sheep The Hill Radnor which is a slightly bigger breed. They look more like the sheep you see around the countryside with some subtle differences. These girls are having a little rest this year and will begin breeding again for spring 2022.
We have plans to introduce a third breed this certainly is something to look out for.
We have always been big fans of British Landrace pigs and the farm has always loaned them, but we loved them so much that we decided to buy a pair for ourselves. Lissy has been at the farm for some time and we are honoured to now own her. Larry was just a youngster when he first arrived and is now hopefully going to be expecting his first litter of piglets this spring.
Although we have been working extremely hard to continue with these exciting changes things have been delayed slightly due to current circumstances, we are very keen to continue building on our rare breeds and supporting UK native animals of all varieties. Look out for changes in our goat pens and chickens to be announced.
Do not panic some non-rare breeds will also remain.
Keep an eye out for our updates and different stories.
Help feed a Suffolk Punch for a week!
It is a very exciting time of the year for Sacrewell as we prepare WITH Seren and Grace to welcome their new foals!!
So, what is so important about the Suffolk Punch?
Suffolks means so much to Sacrewell not only for their beauty and long standing history in farming however are currently classed as Critically Endangered & are in fact rarer then the giant panda. They have also been the basis for our passion to promote rare breeds in farming across the entire site. Although these girls do very well on very little food with the extremely wet weather, we have had to put a little more into them this year.
So, what exactly does your donation fund?
It is a very exciting time of the year for Sacrewell as we prepare with Seren and Grace to welcome their new foals!!
- Vitamin and mineral supplement feed for general horse health and a healthy foal
- Fresh, clean straw bedding- the bigger the horse the bigger the bed
- Plenty of nice fresh hay to replace grass whilst it grows.
- Maybe a little treat or two- you can’t not spoil these girls from time-to-time.
How much does this cost?
On average just these basic requirements costs total an amazing £60 a week! That is nearly £8.57 a day.
- A £15 donation would fund a week’s worth of bedding.
- A £20 donation would fund a week’s worth of feed.
- A £25 donation would fund a week’s worth of hay.
Help feed a Pig for a week!
Our breeding pair of pigs are British Landrace named Liss & Larry. British Landrace are a large breed of pig and although they look like your “classic” pig do not befooled this breed are actually classed as “Endangered” despite being one of the most popular breeds of pig in the U.K.
It is a bit of a myth that pigs will eat anything and in fact some can be quite picky, with new laws to protect any livestock from terrible disease it is actually illegal to feed any Pig, Sheep, Cow, Alpca, Goat and even Chickens any form of kitchen waste or food that has been within a kitchen environment.
So, what do we feed these greedy little piggies?
- Hard feed-This is a special nut that contains all the goodness pigs need to grow big & healthy.
- Bedding-Although the pigs have lovely big runs to stretch their legs in we have to ensure they can keep cosy and warm inside their houses called Arcs, this is done with a nice thick straw bed.
So, how much does this cost?
On average currently to just feed all our pigs (including Lissys last litter of piglets) for a week this would cost £55
- An £8 donation would feed 1 adult pig for 1 week.
- £10 donation would keep one Arc cosy and warm for a week.
Help feed a Sheep for a week!
As spring approaches so does new life and although things are difficult this year we are excited for our ever growing Boreray flock. Starting with just 3 Sheep we have now got 5 Ewes and 2 Rams. Our latest addition Pongo has been successfully introduced to our 3 older Ewes and will run with all 5 later this year. We have 2 Rare Breeds on the farm Boreray’s are classed as “Vunerable” and are currently one of the rarest U.K native breeds of sheep. We also have Hill Radnor Sheep classed as at “Risk”
These native sheep are very hardy and so need very little extra feed, but with limited grazing this time of the year they just need a little extra help.
Hard feed to encourage social behaviour and provide extra nutrition and vital vitamins called trace elements.
Hay for when the grass is just a little lacking.
Minerals like salt are always available.
So, how much does this cost?
On average to feed all our sheep for a 1 week would be £25
- A £5 donation would provide hay for ALL sheep for 1 week.
- £2.50 donation would provide 1 salt block for a sheep paddock.
- £1 donation would fund 1 weeks feed for a sheep.