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Visit Park Farm at Shugborough Estate

Pig dozing in the early autumn sunshine at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.
Pig dozing in the sunshine at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire. | © National Trust Images/David Goacher

Park Farm is a key part of the working estate at Shugborough. Since their completion in 1806, the farm and outbuildings have been central to life on the estate. Uncover Park Farm's history in the mill block exhibit, then venture out into our wider estate to see the animals roaming in the fields.

Visit the animals at Shugborough

In the parkland, look out for longhorn cows and southdown sheep roaming freely. At the edge of park farm, you'll find Tamworth pigs in the hoggeries. You'll also be able to spot Dorking chickens, which are considered to be one of the oldest and rarest British chicken breeds.

Tamworth pigs in the pigsty at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire
Tamworth pigs in the pigsty at Shugborough Estate | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Tamworth pigs at Shugborough

Tamworth pigs are a heritage breed local to Staffordshire. Their current conservation status is vulnerable, meaning that the work we are doing to look after these special breeds is crucial.

Their hoggeries were refurbished when they first arrived to include heat lamps and biosecurity measures were carried out to keep them as safe as possible. Can you spot the toys that they have? This is to keep them stimulated and happy.

Southdown sheep

Southdown is the oldest of the terminal sire breeds in the UK. Originated from native sheep, southdowns have roamed the South Downs in the South of England for many hundreds of years.

At Shugborough in the 1800s there were around 1,700 southdown ewes and also blackfaced sheep, Welsh and Irish sheep. The flock was incredibly profitable for both their meat and fleece. We’re building our flock and have introduced two rams, so we can prepare and control the lambing season next year.

Longhorn cattle

Despite their horns, English longhorn cattle have an incredibly docile nature. They are excellent mothers and tend to have no trouble calving independently, and can even keep breeding past the usual cattle age due to their longevity. Longhorns have a thriftiness and hardiness that, together with their level lactation, means they do not put themselves through any undue stress.

We mob-graze our cattle, meaning they are frequently moved from field to field. This ensures they are pasture-fed and encourage healthy grass growth. You'll find them grazing in the fields, and they're unmissable with their famous long horns.

Cattle resting in the parkland with Hadrian's Arch in the background at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.
Hadrian's Arch and cattle resting in the parkland at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire | © National Trust Images/David Goacher

Space for the animals to roam

Farms form an important part of many National Trust estates and we always work to the RSPCA’s Assured animal welfare standards, which set out high standards for livestock. One of the requirements of these standards is for animals to have more space to be free in.

Due to the historic construction of Park Farm, ensuring the animals have the right amount of space is harder to achieve, so this has meant reducing the number of different breeds at Shugborough. By reducing the number of breeds, we hope to meet or exceed these standards in the future.

Visitors walking towards the house at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.

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