tomdavisLast month we welcomed a new member to our farm team, manager Tom Davis who joins us from Capel Manor College. We are delighted to be welcoming Tom back to Mudchute, as he was first a member of the team in the early 2000s. (Don’t worry, we’ll spare you the embarrassing farm family photos!)

Born and raised on a council estate in Battersea, Tom may not come from a traditional farming background, but he certainly has the passion, knowledge and experience. He decided he wanted to be a farmer at just 8, inspired by a visit to a city farm. After college, at the age of 18, Tom joined us here at Mudchute, moving over from the cross bred commercial livestock to our native rare breeds.

Tom has since been the farm manager at a farm for children with behavioural difficulties in Essex and at Vauxhall City Farm, managed the farm park at Hatfield house and most recently an instructor at Capel Manor College. His passion for rare breeds has continued throughout his career, and he is currently the education representative of the British Waterfowl Association and a trustee of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Tom also judges sheep, poultry and waterfowl at agricultural shows. You may have even spotted him employing his ovine expertise recently on ITV’s Go For It.

Tom is delighted to be back with us at Mudchute, bringing his enthusiasm for native breeds and sharing these incredible animals with our visitors. He’s also happy to be back in the city farm environment which first inspired him. We hope you’ll join us in welcoming him back to the farm!

goforit


jacobram-1912

jacobram-1916There’s a new ram at Mudchute! Our latest addition is a young Jacob ram and he is currently entertaining our three Jacob ewes. Jacob sheep have been known in England since the 1750s are easily distinguished from our other sheep breeds with their spotted, piebald fleeces. You’ll notice both rams and ewes are horned in this breed, but some Jacob rams can have as many as six horns.

At the moment, our new ram is wearing a harness. This is a raddle, which contains a chalk block on his chest. This will allow us to monitor his attentions to the ewes and give us a better of idea of if and when we might expect the pitter patter of little Jacob hooves! A sheep’s pregnancy lasts approximately 5 months, so if our new ram and ewes get on well, we’ll hope to make more introductions in April.

You can find out more about the sheep breeds at Mudchute on our website and more about Jacob Sheep from the Jacob Sheep Society.