Review: Far from the madding crowds at Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley

Colony Unis and her newborn filly at the Suffolk Punch Trust. The foal is one of two new arrivals at

Colony Unis and her newborn filly at the Suffolk Punch Trust. The foal is one of two new arrivals at the Trust. - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk Punch Trust farm and heritage museum at Hollesley near Woodbridge is my kind of place.

Far from the madding crowds, it offers the space to relax, get outdoors and learn something about the county’s rural lineage.

I went with a friend and three young boys under seven - who are lively and inquisitive. It was great just to set out on one of the walks across the farm, stopping from time to time to admire the magnificient Suffolk Punches, the Red Poll Cattle and Large Black Pigs, and to hear the youngsters ask so many questions about the creatures’ habits and behaviour.

If you like your time more structured, there’s plenty on this summer with daily horse mane braiding sessions and tractor rides. There’s also a museum packed with traditional farming equipment and a great cafe serving home-cooked style food.

Our lot thoroughly enjoyed the 3pm pet feeding activity - wafting lettuce under the noses of the anxious guinea pigs and feisty goats.


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The farm has an interesting history and was orignallly owned by nearby Hollesley Bay Prison whose inmates would tend to the animals and grow food. News that the farm was to be sold off led to the formation of Suffolk Punch Trust in 2002 with the intention of purchasing 200 acres of the land and preserving the Suffolk Punch colony, which dates back over 250 years.

The charitable aims of the trust today include the rehabilitation of prisoners, the conservation of rare breeds of domestic animals and the provision of an open space for the benefit of all. What admirable aspirations.

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Tickets are £6.50 for adults and £3.00 for children (although on some days during the holidays children go free). The money goes to help further the work of trust and guarantees you a few lovely hours.

Visit www.suffolkpunchtrust.org for more details.

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