The National Trust Announces Live Foaling at MyFarm

June 13, 2011

SWINDON, England, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –

– The National Trust has revealed that it will be broadcasting the birth
of a foal live over the internet as part of its MyFarm experiment*.

Queenie, the only Shire Horse
[http://www.my-farm.org.uk/news-and-blog/queenies-having-a-baby ] mare at
Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire is preparing to give birth, and the live
streaming – which can be viewed now – is a key part of the MyFarm project
[http://www.my-farm.org.uk/about ], which aims to reconnect people with the
realities of farming. It is the first major birth on the farm since the
project started in May, and it was a huge decision to broadcast it.

Richard Morris, farm manager, said: “There’s no guarantee the birth will
be straight forward, particularly as Queenie had a miscarriage last year and
a previous foal had to be put down due to a deformity. We don’t want to hide
people from the risks involved – it’s fundamental to our purpose in
reconnecting people with the realities of farming to allow the possibility
of lows as well as highs. If all goes well, MyFarm [http://www.my-farm.org.uk ]
Farmers will be able to name the foal and so on, but not until it’s a few
days old. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but that’s reality.”

Shire Horses are increasingly scarce with only 900-1,500 breeding
females currently in the UK**, and while they are no longer a core part of
the working operations on the farm, this birth is a significant moment for
the entire breed and for Wimpole’s work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust

With no way of knowing exactly when Queenie will foal, a webcam*** has
been installed in her stable and MyFarm Farmers will be able to watch the
whole birth as it unfolds, live on the MyFarm website. Infrared lighting is
being installed to ensure that viewers will still be able to see the birth,
even at night.

In the meantime, Queenie is being carefully monitored by Wimpole horse
manager, Emma Warner.

Queenie will be looked after 24 hours a day until she gives birth and
the farm’s vet will be on stand by in case he is needed.

Viewer can keep up-to-date with how Queenie is doing and watch the
foaling live [http://www.my-farm.org.uk/on-the-farm/live-webcam ] on the
MyFarm website.

Notes to Editors:

* The MyFarm experiment which launched on 4 May 2011, aims to connect
thousands of people with how food is produced by giving them a greater say
in how a real working farm is run.

** Figures from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

*** The webcam in Queenie’s stable has been fixed in such a way it won’t
disturb her in any way during labour. The camera is remotely operated so
no-one apart from those tending Queenie will be in the stable at any time.

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.

        PR Contact:
        Steve Field
        Assistant Press Officer
        The National Trust
        Kemble Drive
        Wilts SN2 2NA


Source: newswire

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