Folly Farm has welcomed a new arrival to the farm this week – a beautiful 14 year old Suffolk punch horse named Lily.

Lily at Folly Farm
Lily at Folly Farm (Pic supplied)

Lily’s arrival is extra special due to the Suffolk punch being classed as a priority breed on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watchlist.

Folly Farm was the first Welsh farm park to receive rare breed approval from the RBST – for efforts and contribution to conserving rare breeds of livestock.

Lily travelled to the Pembrokeshire attraction from Easton Farm Park in Suffolk where she was a brood mare, and can now enjoy her retirement at the farm, meeting guests and exploring her new paddocks.

This hardy native breed was traditionally used for working on farms, and they also transported artillery during the war. Owing to the modernisation of agricultural machinery over the years, however, their population declined rapidly and in 1966 there were only nine Suffolk foals registered. Wow!  Numbers are slowly on the rise again - but it’s far more common to see the breed in heavy ridden horse classes these days, an area that is constantly growing.

Although not as tall as other draught horses such as the shire horse, the Suffolk punch is extremely stocky and strong and Lily still stands at around 17 hands.

Lily stands 17hh tall
(Pic Folly Farm)

Farm Manager Jane Hill said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Lily to the farm family. She’s been an absolute pleasure so far and is enjoying getting to know her new keepers and our guests in the barn.

“She certainly likes to tell you when she's ready for her breakfast in the mornings! She's had such an important job at her previous home in Easton Farm Park, having been a brood mare. Being a priority breed, it's great to raise awareness of the plights facing these rare breeds - and although the Suffolk Punch population has continued to increase, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust considers their survival status as critical.

“We’re extremely proud to be the first Welsh farm park to receive rare breed approval from the RBST. We hope our guests enjoy meeting Lily and our other rare breeds at the farm this Easter holiday!”

Lily makes new friends at Folly Farm
Lily makes new friends at Folly Farm (Pic supplied)