The National Trust Announces Live Foaling at MyFarmBy The National Trust, PRNE
Sunday, June 12, 2011
SWINDON, England, June 13, 2011 -
- 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 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 href="www.my-farm.org.uk/about">MyFarm project, 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, href="www.my-farm.org.uk/">MyFarm 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
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 (RBST).
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.
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.
Tags: England, June 13, Swindon, The National Trust, United Kingdom