The Animal Park has been accredited as an Approved Conservation Farm Park by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. It now boasts Bagot Goats, Portland Sheep and Saddleback Pigs among its residents, alongside alpacas, donkeys, rabbits and lots of farmyard favourites.
Section Lead, Aart Noordijk, said: “This accreditation will have immense commercial impact for the Animal Park, and secondarily will allow us to initiate a cohesive breeding programme enabling us to become a more specialist centre.”
One of the Animal Park’s Bagot Goats, Vinney Blue, has gained the coveted position of mascot for The Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, and will be making an appearance at assemblies and events. Vinney was born at the Animal Park in April 2013, and his sister, Lily the Pink, followed in May.
Head Animal Technician & Instructor at the Animal Park, Barbara Holden, said: “It’s an important link for Vinney to be the school’s mascot as the students can learn how to handle and rear goats whilst promoting the breed. It will help with awareness too as this goat would be extinct if it wasn’t for parks like Kingston Maurward’s – there are only 200 Bagot goats in the world – which is rarer than pandas.”
Vinney paid a surprise visit to today’s Thomas Hardye School Stratford College assembly much to the delight of its 480 year 9, 10 & 11 students. His handler, Barbara Holden, explained to students about the rarity of the breed and Vinney’s role within the school. Ten lucky students from year 9 and 10 will take a more active role with the goat in the future.
For more information about animal conservation courses, click here.
For more details on the Rare Breeds Survival trust, click here