Farm park wins accolade for helping 'amazing' rare animals
- Credit: RBST
A Breckland farm park has won national recognition for its important contribution to the conservation of some of the nation's rarest native breeds of farm animal.
Melsop Farm Park in Scoulton, between Watton and Hingham, has been awarded accreditation by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) - making it part of a 26-strong network working with the national charity.
The park, run by the Stone family, participates in crucial breeding programmes for some of the UK’s rarest breeds of livestock and poultry.
It is thought to have the largest group of rare Norfolk Grey chickens in the UK, as well as the largest herd of Gloucester cattle in Norfolk.
Visitors can also see Albion cattle, Bagot and Golden Guernsey goats, Tamworth and Middle White pigs, and rare sheep breeds including the Boreray, Greyface Dartmoor, Leicester Longwool, North Ronaldsay and Norfolk Horn.
The award comes as the park looks forward to welcoming visitors for its autumnal activities during the October half-term break.
Jordan Stone of Melsop Farm Park said: “We are really proud of the work we do to help conserve these amazing rare breeds, and of the environment we have created where people of all ages can come and appreciate why these animals are so special.
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"In a county with such a strong focus on arable farming, we are passionate about providing a centre that supports the survival of Norfolk’s own rare breeds of livestock and poultry as well as supporting the future of other breeds from across the UK.
"Joining the network of farm parks with RBST accreditation is a real boost and will open up new opportunities for our conservation work.”
RBST chief executive Christopher Price said: “Melsop Farm Park provides a really educational and enjoyable visitor attraction at the same time as carrying out crucial work to support the survival of some of the UK’s rarest breeds of farm animals.
"It showcases some fantastic local breeds which were bred over centuries to thrive in this part of the country like the Norfolk Horn sheep, Norfolk Black turkey and Norfolk Grey chicken.
"It is also playing an important role in the national effort to increase the geographic distribution of some of RBST’s highest priority breeds such as Gloucester cattle."