Gift of Connemara Pony marks new North South Co-operation in Conservation of Native Breeds
Connemara National Park gifts Pony to Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm in exchange for rare Moiled Heifer
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has today welcomed the participation of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in a North South initiative which will increase collaboration in the conservation efforts of rare breeds.
Connemara National Park – which is managed by the Department’s NPWS – has today gifted Connemara Pony, Park Sarah, to Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal farm in Craigavon in exchange for Silverwood Sunflower lll (the third), an Irish Moiled Heifer, a rare breed.
William Cormacan, NPWS Regional Manager, Western Division said “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.”
Tannaghmore Farm is the only Rare Breed Survival Trust approved farm in Ireland, and is playing an important role in the conservation of a number of breeds native to the British Isles, which are in need of conservation, including Irish Moiled cattle. Tannaghmore Farm, as part of Armagh City, Banbridge, Craigavon Borough Council, also use conservation grazing with native breeds to manage for biodiversity on a number of ecologically important Council properties. Significant expertise has been acquired in managing for certain species and habitat types, including in the control of certain invasive species. Tannaghmore Farm will now display the iconic Connemara Pony to the public and commence a breeding programme.
Connemara National Park has six Connemara Ponies and has become an important part of the breeding of these iconic Connemara ponies since the late President of Ireland, Erskine Childers, presented a herd to the State.
It has also developed a small herd of Irish Moiled cattle with a view to using this rare Irish breed for conservation grazing within the National Park. In addition to these rare breeds, the Park has Shetland Sheep, Highland cattle, Galway sheep and Tamworth pigs. The new addition today will significantly contribute to the breeding programmes already established there.
Connemara National Park and Tannaghmore Rare Breed Animal Farm will continue to work together on the conservation of traditional rare breeds and share knowledge and experiences regarding conservation grazing using heritage breeds.