Ponies and sheep

Along with cattle, you will also see ponies and sheep here

Dartmoor ponies

A very tranquil scene greets you as you come in to Parke. After the recent addition of cattle to the parkland, you'll now see some Dartmoor pony mares grazing with their foals on your left, as you go up towards the car park.

The ponies come from Shilstone Rocks Stud and represent some of the best in the country. They're here for everyone to enjoy and learn a little bit more about our local native breed.

If you'd like to find out more about the challenges that face the Dartmoor pony or want to get involved, have a look on the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust website.

Greyface Dartmoor sheep

If you venture further to the orchard, you'll also be able to see the appealing Greyface Dartmoor sheep. We expect to graze the orchard all year round with these sheep, only taking them off briefly prior to apple harvest. You won't see sheep anywhere else at Parke, although you will see cattle or ponies grazing the parkland and other open field areas throughout the year. If you have a dog, we ask you to please keep it under close control when in the orchard.

Inspired by her great great grandmother, Paula Steer started farming the Greyface Dartmoor with her son, Lewis. It's a rare breed of sheep indigenous to Dartmoor and descends from the ancient hill sheep that used to graze Dartmoor. The Greyface Dartmoor's a hardy breed, with a sturdy long wool and lustrous fleece.

Paula and Lewis promote and protect this 'at risk' breed of sheep by producing balls of aran wool in beautiful colours and knitted/crocheted sheep and brooches produced from the fleeces. They also have complete fleeces tanned locally. The magnificent fleeces and other products are all available to buy at the National Trust gallery at Widecombe-in-the-Moor.