The National Trust Invites Public to Choose Sheep for Farm Experiment

By The National Trust, PRNE
Sunday, July 3, 2011

SWINDON, England, July 4, 2011 -


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

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 href="">
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 chef.

The results of the poll will be posted on the MyFarm

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 href="">
farming issue each month around crops, livestock and wider

** 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

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 href="">places to visit in the
UK, including the National
Trust farm.

PR Contact:
Jeannette Heard
Press Officer
National Trust
Kemble Drive


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