“ Castleton, Derbyshire / Telephone: 01298 812951 „
In April 2006 the Castleton Animal Farm finally opened its doors to the public. For the owner, Sarah Champian this was the realisation of a lifelong dream and even now, nearly two years into the project she sometimes still finds it difficult to believe that this farm is hers.
The idea behind this project was to provide a habitat for rare breeds of British farm animals to live, but more importantly it was
to provide a suitable environment where they would breed and thus increase their chances of surviving their threat of extinction.
Sarah, now 38 years old, spent most of her adult life saving up until she finally had enough money to buy a suitable amount of land to begin her dream. In order to finance this project she had the idea of turning this farm into a visitor centre and a tourist attraction and although it is still fairly early days it would seem as if this plan has worked.
The Animal Farm is located just outside the Derbyshire village of Castleton, right in the heart of the Peak District National Park. Its setting is idyllic at the flat bottom of a lush, green valley. Furthermore it is located directly opposite the main car park to the Treak Cliff Cavern, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this region. There can be little doubt that many visitors to this cavern, who have never heard of the Animal Farm are curious enough to go and have a look.
All of the animals here are incredibly rare and facing extinction. The rarest animal that is here are Boreray Sheep, there are only 77 females of this species left in the world so it is very threatened.
Other animals here include Clydesdale Horses, Soay Sheep, Dexter Cows, Pygmy Goats and Tamworth Pigs. Touching and interacting with these animals is both recommended and encorouged, which is great for the kids and for their parents too.
With regard to breeding it is still early days but last year has seen the successful breeding of both Clydesdale Horses and Tamworth Pigs.
The Clydesdale Horses are huge, these are the horses than once pulled heavy farm equipment in the days before the Industrial Revolution, but as they were replaced by machinery this breed of animal became redundant and began to die out.
The farm covers an area of 12 acres but there are no indoor buildings for the public so if the weather is bad there are only a handful of trees to shelter under. I would also imagine that the footpaths could get a little bit messy during bad weather.
If the weather is fine however then these paths are of good quality and very flat, making them ideal for people with wheelchairs and other disabilities.
There are admission charges to enter this Animal Farm but there is a sign saying that all of the money collected goes towards the upkeep of the animals and that this is a non money making organisation. It is also a registered charity.
Current admission charges are £4 for adults and £2.50 for children (under 16) and concessions. Children under 3 years old can enter for free.
The opening times are as below:
2nd April - end of September: Daily from 10am until 5pm
October Half Term: Daily from 10am until 4pm
October - December: Weekends only, from 10am until 4pm weather permitting.
Access is possible at other times by prior arrangement
Castleton Animal Farm
Telephone - 01298 812951
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Find some of the rarest animals around! Great for all ages.