The National Trust Invites Public to Choose Sheep for Farm Experiment

July 4, 2011

SWINDON, England, July 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –

The National Trust has revealed that members of the public will decide
which flock of sheep will be bought by a working, commercial farm as part of
the MyFarm* experiment which aims to re-connect people with the day-to-day
realities of farming.

Under the banner ‘You choose the Ewes’, subscribers signed up for the
experiment will be asked to choose between buying 100 commercial or rare
breed sheep**, to expand the current flock.

They will be asked to consider the financial consequences, the
implications for rare-breed bloodline and environmental impacts, as well as
lambing rates and the time taken to rear lambs for market.

Once this decision is taken, the MyFarm community will decide on the
specific breed of sheep to stock.

Last month, MyFarm Farmers decided to plant wheat on a 27 acre (15.4
hectare) field as part of the experiment being run by the National Trust at
Home Farm on the Wimpole Estate
[http://www.my-farm.org.uk/on-the-farm/livestock/find-out-more/the-animals-of-myfarm-and-the-wimpole-estate ]
in Cambridgeshire.

The charity aims to connect up to 10,000 people with farming and to
better understand where their food comes from, to understand land management
and the wider issues facing farmers today.

MyFarm farm manager Richard Morris said: “We’re basically saying to
members ‘you choose the ewes’. Currently we have 250 rare breed ewes, 200
rare breed mature lambs and 300 lambs which were born this spring at
Wimpole, and we now have the opportunity to increase numbers.

“Rare breeds offer continuity for our conservation work, but there is
possibly a more efficient utilisation of forage and greater financial return
from using more commercial breeds.

“The arguments both for and against rare breed and commercial are
fascinating and I look forward to seeing how the debate unfolds over the
next six days.”

Other people will be contributing to the discussions surrounding the
vote including the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) and a professional

The results of the poll will be posted on the MyFarm website.

Notes to Editors:

* The MyFarm experiment launched on 4 May 2011. Based at the National
Trust’s own working farm, Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire, farm manager
Richard Morris will set monthly options for subscribers, who will debate and
vote on one major farming
[http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-food_farming.htm ]
issue each month around crops, livestock and wider impacts.

** The rare breed sheep at Wimpole are: Portlands, Manx Loagthans,
Hebrideans, Whitefaced Woodlands and Norfolk Horns. These varieties have
been bred at Wimpole for the past 30 years.

About The National Trust:

The National Trust is one of the most important nature conservation
charities in Europe. The Trust is involved in the whole food chain, with
200,000 hectares of food producing land, over 150 restaurants and tearooms,
and historic kitchen gardens, orchards and mills. The charity has community
growing spaces – from allotments to kitchen gardens – at over 50 locations
around the country and is increasing these annually. These spaces inspire
the Trust’s 3.8 million members, 60,000 volunteers and visitors to think and
learn about food. The National Trust is creating 1,000 new allotment plots
on its land in the next three years to give local communities the space to
grow their own fruit and vegetables.

The National Trust offers a number of places to visit in the UK
[http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk ], including the National Trust farm
[http://www.my-farm.org.uk ].

        PR Contact:
        Jeannette Heard
        Press Officer
        National Trust
        Kemble Drive
        SN2 2NA


SOURCE The National Trust

Source: newswire

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