Farm and museum 'buzzing with excitement' after arrival of endangered foals

Jack and Kingsman, the new Suffolk Punch foals at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham

Jack and Kingsman, the new Suffolk Punch foals at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham - Credit: Sarah Darnell

A popular Norfolk farm and museum has finally welcomed a pair of critically-endangered foals. 

Bosses at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham, said they were "buzzing with excitement" following the long-awaited arrival of the Suffolk Punch foals. 

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has a pair of new Suffolk Punch foals

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has a pair of new Suffolk Punch foals - Credit: Sarah Darnell

The new additions, named Jack and Kingsman, have joined the museum’s four existing horses.

They will learn to work on the farm using traditional land farming methods, while playing a role in the conservation of the breed. 

Richard Dalton, farm manager at Gressenhall, said: "I am really excited with the purchase of two new foals for Gressenhall Farm.

"They will be important for the conservation of the breed as well as continuing our ability to use and preserve traditional farming methods here for years to come.

A heavy horse display at Gressenhall Museum.; Richard Dalton with their other new Suffolk Punch Reg.

Richard Dalton, farm manager at Gressenhall, with Suffolk Punch horse Reg - Credit: Archant

"Jack and Kingsman are joining the current Gressenhall horses who will, of course, be excellent examples of reliable working horses to the young ones."

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Suffolk Punch horses were once popular for farming due to their strength and large size, which makes them perfectly suited to pulling heavy ploughs, carts and other farm equipment.

Since the 1940s, however, the breed has faced a severe decline in numbers, with tractors and other agricultural machinery taking over the job of this heavy horse.

The Suffolk Horse Society, which is the official charity for the preservation of the Suffolk Punch, says they are critically endangered with less than 500 pure-bred horses in the country. 

At their new home, Jack and Kingsman are joining Bowler, Trojan, Reggie and Jimbo, as well as a range of other rare-breed animals, including Large Black pigs and Norfolk Horn sheep.

The farm and museum thanked the Friends of Gressenhall charity - who provided the funds necessary to purchase the foals - for their longstanding and continued support. 

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, run by the Norfolk Museums Service, will reopen to the public on Monday, March 14, having been closed over the winter season. 

Visitors will be able to see Jack, Kingsman and the other working horses in action. Regular updates are also being provided on social media, including the attraction's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.