Gallery: Suffolk Punch Trust celebrates first anniversary of visitor centre

HUNDREDS of visitors have been given the first opportunity to see some of the major improvements made over the winter to a stud colony that is home to iconic Suffolk Punches.

The Suffolk Punch Trust’s Hollesley Bay Colony Stud reopened for 2011 on Saturday and celebrated its first anniversary as a visitor centre in the process.

There were demonstrations by the colony’s horses and birds of prey, as well as a farmers’ market and craft fair.

Sadly, no new foals have been born yet this spring but several heavily-pregnant mares were given a walk around the site, along with the trust’s award-winning stallion.

General manager Jo Cresdee said: “We had lots of people – about 1,500 – and have been really lucky because the weather’s not been that good.

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“We have had all the horses out and plenty of demonstrations, and have had a grand parade showing off all the different animals.

“The farmers’ market was great as well, with lots of real, home-made produce from small-scale producers.”

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The trust bought the historic stud farm in 2002 and after years of restoration work, it opened as a heritage visitor centre a year ago.

The organisation is nearly entirely run by volunteers and Miss Cresdee said it was a testament to the hard work of the people of Suffolk who had raised the money to buy the historic farm back in 2002 and build the facilities for the public to enjoy.

The Hollesley Bay Colony Stud now has a new play area, gift shop and coffee shop and there are a wide variety of events planned throughout the summer.

For more information about the work the trust does, including the opening times and admission prices of the centre, visit

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