New addition canters into Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm

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Pictured at the official handover of the Connemara Pony ‘Park Sarah’ from the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service to Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm is Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Margaret Tinsley, Niall Ó’Donnchú (Assistant Secretary for Department of Culture Heritage & the Gaeltacht) and Martin Coyne (NPWS Connemara National Park).

Come along and say hello to Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm’s latest addition – Park Sarah – a stunning Connemara Pony, gifted to the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council farm by the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which is under the remit of the Irish Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Making her arrival last week, Park Sarah is a direct descendant of the Connemara Ponies bestowed to the President of Ireland in 1974 and then the NPWS in 1980, and as a result represents a piece of living history. Native to Ireland, Connemara Ponies are characterised by their hard-working, intelligent nature and gentle temperament.

In return, council gifted the Connemara National Park with one of its Irish Moiled heifers ‘Silverwood Sunflower 3’, giving the Park a new bloodline for their herd of Irish Moiled cattle and helping conserve the breed in the West of Ireland as well as improving their herd genetics.

The exchange came about thanks to newly forged links between Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm and other Irish rare breed societies, which saw study visits to the Craigavon farm and reciprocal visits to Ballycroy National Park and Connemara National Park.

Welcoming Park Sarah to her new home at Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm, Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Margaret Tinsley commented,

“It is with great pleasure that on behalf of council I accept the gift of the Connemara Pony – Park Sarah – from the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service. Our farm staff work tirelessly to protect and promote the unique breeds of farm animals and raise awareness of their importance to our culture and heritage. And I have no doubt Park Sarah will feel right at home at Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm!”

Representing an excellent opportunity to foster potential cross-border links with NPWS, Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm hopes to collaborate on future rare breeds conservation projects and to develop their uses for conservation grazing and habitat management.

William Cormacan, NPWS Regional Manager, Western Division commented,

“We are delighted to participate in this cross-border initiative and look forward to future collaboration on the conservation of rare breeds. Together we can raise awareness of the cultural and agricultural heritage of these rare breeds, the importance of preserving them and their importance in the management and conservation of our habitats.”

The Farm, which is the only ‘Rare Breeds Survival Trust’ approved Conservation Farm Park in Ireland has a wide range of animals including Irish Moiled, Dexter and Shetland cattle, Galway and Jacob sheep, award-winning Oxford Sandy, Black pigs and the large number of poultry and waterfowl.

In addition to the farm, there are stunning gardens, eye-catching sculptures, the Master McGrath Maze and a one-of-a-kind play park, which recently saw £250,000 investment by council.

Tailored for specific age groups with areas for young children and toddlers, the newly upgraded play park also has more challenging play equipment, such as a zip line and snake rope swing, for older children and teenagers. All this meaning, there really is lots to see and do at Tannaghmore Gardens and Rare Breeds Animal Farm!

To find out more about Tannaghmore Gardens and Rare Breeds Animal Farm please call 028 3834 3244.