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29th September 2010

After much deliberation a winner has finally been chosen for our Photographic competition. Jon Hossack has won first place, and a prize of £50, for his beautiful photo of our ringed teal


These birds are very skittish, and their boat could do with a patch up, so we are very impressed that Jon managed to make them look so photogenic.

The three runners up, who will each receive a family ticket to Totnes Rare Breeds, are as follows:

1) Orlando Lewry, for his iamge of Oscar the scops owl and his whiskers:


2) Colin Aitkin, with his unusual photo of Benjie the bengal eagle owl folding his wings in flight:


3) Gavin Ducie, who captured Benjie looking very cross, and all the more handsome for it:


The winner in the children's category was twelve year old Louis Berthaud, who caught Treacle the golden guernsey smirking: not easy since he never stays still.


Everyone would like to say well done to all who entered. The standard was particularly high and there weren't enough prizes to go round everyone who deserved them. We always welcome photos from visitors who are proud of their pictures and don't mind us using them - keep an eye on our adverts, website and next year's brochure. Thank you also to everyone who came to the photography day and made it so enjoyable. We hope to see you all next year! Keep your eyes open for the dates of 2011's photography days.

28th September 2010

Well the sun shone and made our first Apple Weekend one to remember. Apples were pressed, bobbed, thrown and hunted, and everyone agreed that the freshly pressed juice, made from a combination of all our apples, was delicious. Such a happy, friendly, family atmosphere is right up the Rare Breeds street, and was perfectly rounded off by the traditional homemade toffee apples, and apple pie and cream in the cafe.


14th September 2010

Trying to think of a weekend family activity? Join us on the 25th and 26th of September as we press all the apples from our trees. You can even bring a container (reasonably sized, please!) to take home a free sample. In the farm there will be lots of extra activities going on: try your hand at apple throwing, without your hands at apple bobbing, and join in the apple hunt. Prizes will be awarded and much fun had by all. Round everything off with apple pie and cream in the cafe.

Not an apple fan? Don't worry, all our animals will be there as usual to give you a great day out, with delicious meals and treats in the Garden Cafe.

Normal farm entry prices will apply: Adults £4.75, Children £3.50, Senior Citizens £4.25, Families £15.


24th August 2010

Here’s a refreshing Sunday activity: relaxing in beautiful surroundings and brushing up your photographic skills with a real expert. On 5th September renowned wildlife photographer Richard Austin will be leading the Photography Day at Totnes Rare Breeds Farm. Between 12pm and 5pm he will be offering tips and advice on how to capture that special image.


Richard Austin is wildlife photographer for the Western Morning News, and author of two best-selling books, Animal Magic and More Animal Magic. He has acted as official photographer for numerous premier league football clubs, and has snapped portraits of Princess Diana.

But on the 5th he will definitely have his wildlife cap on, and will award a £50 first prize to whoever takes the best photo of the day. At no extra charge for entry, it’s well worth a go.

The day is aimed at photographers of all abilities and ages. All the animals are guaranteed to be looking extra-photogenic.

Usual farm entrance charges will apply (£4.75 adults, £3.50 children, £4.25 senior citizens, £15 family).


10th August 2010

What better way to spend time off than to watch hundreds of others working? After several months of faffing, our Glass Bee Hive is officially up and running, and stuffed with busy honey bees.

The colony wasn't happy with our first attempt, which was in the shape of a conventional hive, and never settled. Undeterred, Barrie (joint owner of Rare Breeds and head hive architect) redesigned the whole thing. It is now shaped to imitate a natural bees' nest in a hollow tree, or wall cavity. The workers are gradually figuring it out, and are starting to bring pollen back.

The big question at the moment is whether we have a queen. The colony arrived with several unhatched queen cells, but all that has been seen of an actual queen was a dead one, being carried by workers a few days ago. This (hopefully) means we have a live queen somewhere that killed her rival. If that is the case, she should soon leave the hive to mate, and will then begin to reproduce. The colony will then be established.

They really are a fascinating lot, and are on full display to anyone who wants to come and see them hard at work.