Barleylands Farm Park awarded Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) Status

Until relatively recently, the main focus at Barleylands has been on how food is grown and harvested but now farm animals – and more specifically rare breeds – are playing an increasingly important role in the Barleylands experience. We are pleased to announce that Barleylands Farm Park has been recognised as an approved Rare Breeds Farm Park by the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST).

The mission of the RBST is to build a secure future for native livestock, and equine breeds, and populations. Each year the RBST produces a watchlist that monitors the conservation status of native breeds. One of the goals of the trust is to reverse the decline of the breeds that are on the watchlist.

When Peter Philpot developed Barleylands Farm Park he really wanted to educate the public about food and farming, and to give something back.  Education is an important element of what we do here at Barleylands, and farm park manager, Jordan Bailey, and assistant farm park manager, Emma Sayer wanted to extend this to include rare breeds.  Emma says “So many people are disconnected from the way their food is produced, and we see a great opportunity to explain the history, and social connections of our breeds, and to demonstrate how it is possible to produce quality food from well-cared for animals.  So many people just don’t realize how many breeds we have in this country and how diverse they are.”

Under Jordan and Emma’s stewardship, the list of breeds at Barleylands has now grown to include Golden Guernsey goats, Bagot goats, Oxford Sandy & Black, and Berkshire pigs, Hampshire Down, and Wiltshire Horn sheep, Modern Game, and Cream Legbar chickens and Narrangansett, and Bourbon Red turkeys.  The plan is to introduce more of the Watchlist Priority breeds, with Old English goats first on the shopping list.

By becoming an approved RBST Farm Park Barleylands is making a positive contribution to the conservation of rare breeds, maintaining high animal welfare standards, and continuing to educate and entertain visitors to provide a fun day out for all the family.