Hadleigh Farm approved by U.K.’s Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Essex now has an official Conservation Farm Park thanks to The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Estate.
The Salvation Army rare breeds center at Hadleigh Farm Estate is putting Essex, U.K., on the map after being recognized by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) as the county’s only approved “Conservation Farm Park.” RBST posted the announcement to its website Sept. 1.
“We’re so proud to be leading the way for rare breeds in Essex as the only RBST Conservation Farm Park,” said Emma Sayer, Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre manager. “The whole team of staff and volunteers here are so passionate about our rare breed animals and this is something we have been working toward for the last few years.”
RBST Conservation Farm Parks play an important role in the promotion and development of some of the country’s rarest breeds and are also home to special breeding groups of animals that RBST helps manage.
Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre welcomes more than 40,000 visitors each year. The farm cares for more than 100 animals including some of the U.K.’s rarest breeds of goats, pigs and geese. The center holds family fun and education days to teach the importance of conservation and help children learn more about looking after animals and wildlife.
“We are committed to looking after our world and we will be working closely with RBST to protect and promote our national and local heritage for the whole community to enjoy,” Sayer said. “As the center grows we’re looking forward to welcoming even more people to the farm to meet, feed and learn about our wonderful animals.”
The RBST aims to secure the future of the country’s rare and native breeds of farm livestock.
“RBST has Conservation Farm Parks throughout the country, and we are delighted to welcome The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre,” said Tom Blunt, field officer for the RBST. “The farm has a fantastic selection of rare and native breeds, in particular two nice herds of Bagot and Golden Guernsey goats.”
To promote the breeding and registration of rare and native breeds, RBST staff, members and support groups provide a network of knowledge to support and encourage breeders. In addition, by collecting data from breed societies, it monitors the number of rare and native breeds and produces an annual watchlist. To save potentially endangered breeds, RBST maintains a gene bank. It uses genetics–usually semen from males but also embryos–to revive a breed facing extinction. In emergencies, RBST will buy genetically important stock and place it in approved breeding centers.
Located in the heart of Essex, The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre cares for a wide selection of rare breeds, including Golden Guernsey and Bagot goats, Greyface Dartmoor and Leicester Longwool sheep, Middle White pigs, Exmoor ponies, and a range of poultry including Marsh Daisy and Cream Legbar chickens, Narragansett turkeys and Sebastopol geese.
The center is part of The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Estate which includes Hadleigh Training Centre for adults with additional support needs, Hadleigh Farm Tea Rooms and The Hub visitor’s center at Hadleigh Park.