Animal magic after rare breeds farm reopens at Sledmere House

VISITORS to the grounds of one of Yorkshire’s finest country houses have been able to enjoy the sight of its rare breed farm animals again as the region’s attractions continue to welcome back the public as lockdown eases.

Sledmere House, a Grade I- listed Georgian country house near Driffield, boasts a Rare Breed Conservation Farm Park in its grounds, which is home to a collection of rare breed animals, including shire horses, Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, Golden Guernsey goats and Leicester Longwool sheep. All the animals are on the farm animal endangered list and part of the park’s programme of support includes a breeding programme, with recent new arrivals including eight little Oxford Sandy and Black piglets.

Sledmere House is gearing up for a special Down on the Farm day on June 27.

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It will include an opportunity for children to be “young handlers” using the prize-winning flock of Leicester Longwool sheep, demonstrations from the stables team showing how they harness and plait the Sledmere Shires and tips on sheepdog training involving an expert and his trusty companion herding ducks.

Jim , one of Sledmere's Shire horses pulling a cart by Sledmere House in preparation for a forthcoming wedding.

Other conservation organisations will be taking part in the day, showcasing their work and providing information and advice about how to keep the countryside safe and sustainable for years to come.

There will also be family fun classes to enter including vegetable craft classes. Sledmere contains Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures, and is set within a park designed by Capability Brown.

A spokesman said: “There is something about the charm of Sledmere which has captivated visitors for over 200 years.”