The National Trust Reports Disaster For MyFarm’s Shire Horse Foaling

The National Trust’s MyFarm team at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire have been eagerly awaiting the foaling of Queenie, the only Shire Horse mare at Wimpole for weeks now.

As over 800 people or groups of people saw, Queenie went into her much anticipated labour. At 11.45pm she gave birth to a beautiful filly foal. Although she had a perceptible heartbeat when she was born she was not breathing. Emma, horse manager at Wimpole Farm, tried hard and long to get her to breathe with the help of farmer manager Richard Morris. A vet was on the phone throughout, talking the team through the procedures.

None of our efforts could save her and she peacefully slipped away a few minutes after her birth.

Richard said: “As you can imagine, we are all devastated by this awful and unexpected outcome. Although watchers of the foaling on the webcam saw the true, grim realities of animal husbandry this in no way belittles the personal sense of tragedy and loss we are all feeling. This bitter disappointment is tempered only with the fact that the filly foal did not suffer at all.”

As part of the National Trust’s MyFarm experiment, the birth was broadcast live over the internet. The project, which started in May, aims to reconnect people with the realities of life on a working, commercial farm allowing them to effectively become a farmer. The MyFarm Farmers can discuss and make decisions on every aspect of the farm: the crops grown, livestock, the new facilities to be invested in and the machinery to be used, much like a real life version of Farmville, the popular Facebook game.

As one MyFarm farmer commenting on the website just after the birth said: “I’m so sorry everyone. That was awful to watch, but I guess this is the reality of farm life sometimes. I felt so helpless watching the efforts to save her.”

Richard continued: “It was a huge decision for us to do a live broadcast of the birth. There was never a guarantee that the foaling would be straight forward and unfortunately, this proved to be the case. But we didn’t want to hide people from the risks involved – it’s fundamental to the purpose of this project – to reconnect people with the realities of farming to allow the possibility of lows as well as highs.”

In the morning, Queenie was doing well. She was turned out into her paddock to get some fresh air and Emma is speaking to the vet to find out the best way of stopping the milk production.

As Queenie is a fit and healthy mare, and due to it being prime horse breeding season, the team is keen that she gets back to the stallion again in approximately three weeks to see if she can become pregnant once more. There is no reason to believe that Queenie won’t foal successfully in the future.

Via EPR Network
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Safetyshop Rewarded For Continuous Improvement With Environmental Standard

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of health and safety equipment has been recognised for its commitment to environmental and eco-friendly practices.

Cheshire-based Safetyshop has received ISO 14001-2004 accreditation after putting in place an environmental management system designed to improve the company’s green credentials. Safetyshop is involved in manufacturing a range of around 18,000 safety products, from safety signs to workwear, and by scrutinising each and every process the firm has managed to find various ways to use fewer resources, become more efficient and protect the environment.

Internationally recognised, ISO 14001-2004 is a testament to Safetyshop’s commitment to going green. The company has taken steps to become more efficient with its use of energy, water, packaging and paper, and is fastidious in its approach to waste management and hazardous substance control.

As well as using a new energy management system to cut gas consumption by 30 per cent, Safetyshop has increased its recycling rate by 75 per cent. From changing the type of ink used in the sign manufacturing process to fitting energy efficient light bulbs in its warehouse, Safetyshop has demonstrated its environmental credentials across all areas of the business.

John Suthons, Quality Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Safetyshop, said: “By establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving our environmental management system, Safetyshop has proven that it is not only aware of its responsibility to minimise its own impact on the environment, but is prepared to actively seek ways of doing so.

“The processes that have been put in place have been rigorously tested which is why we are extremely proud to have now achieved ISO 14001-2004 accreditation. A lot of hard work and dedication has been put into getting to this point and all our customers can be assured that this recognition will only spur us on to find greater efficiencies and make Safetyshop a leading light when it comes to protecting the environment.”

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Invites Public To Choose Sheep For Farm Experiment

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 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 website.

 

Via EPR Network
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