While visitors have been enjoying the sights and sounds of its latest newborns this spring, Chatsworth Farmyard has been particularly celebrating the latest additions to its breeding programme for rare and sometimes critically endangered animals.
Two Albion calves, Bronte and Queenie, have been born in the past ten days. Originally called the ‘Bakewell Blues’ because of their origins in Derbyshire, Albions are listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) as the most rare ‘priority’ breed.
Meanwhile, Eugenie, Chatsworth’s Suffolk Punch mare is expecting another foal in the next couple of weeks, having successfully delivered visitor favourite ‘Huxley’ last year. The RBST considers the Suffolk Punch to be critically endangered with fewer than 500 purebred horses registered in the UK. Eugenie is one of only 72 female Suffolk Punches, making them more endangered than the Giant Panda.
Bagot goat kids and Gloucester Old Spot piglets are due soon and are listed as ‘at risk’ breeds while the farmyard is also hoping for some rare breed chicks from its Derbyshire Redcap chickens.
The Farmyard has been welcoming plenty of newborns this spring, though not all are rare breeds. A Donkey foal, lambs, goat kids and piglets are all expected additions in the next few weeks.
Chatsworth Farmyard is home to a number of the country’s rarest breeds of livestock and equines, including Suffolk Punch horses, Shire horses, Albion cattle, Bagot goats and Cream Legbar and Derbyshire Redcap chickens, as well as British Landrace pigs and Eriskay ponies.
“We are delighted to welcome our two beautiful Albion calves. They’re incredibly rare and I have always wanted to have some of these wonderful cows here. Given their local heritage it feels like the perfect fit at Chatsworth Farmyard,” said Farmyard Manager, Melissa Underwood.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) awarded RBST accreditation to Chatsworth Farmyard last year, recognising its important contribution to the conservation of some the rarest livestock and equine breeds native to the UK.
RBST is the national charity that works to secure the future of rare breeds of native livestock and equines. Chatsworth Farmyard is now part of the 25-strong network of RBST accredited farm parks which take part in crucial conservation programmes, manage special breeding groups, and support education about rare breeds and why they matter.
Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground is open daily to visitors (www.chatsworth.org).
Chatsworth supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.