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Suffolk Punch foal born at Dickleburgh Moor Nature Reserve thanks to scientific assistance

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A wildlife charity, which supports the conservation of wetland species and habitats worldwide, has announced the birth of a foal from a critically endangered breed of horse.

The Otter Trust has said the Suffolk Punch filly foal was born at its 50-acre Dickleburgh Moor site by artificial insemination in a bid to help save the iconic horse breed.

The trust has said it will ask the public to now name the foal, with suggestions already in for Joy, Jubilee, June, Jubilee Joy, Faith and Charity.

Suffolk Punch mare Nedging Crystal with her new unnamed foal. Picture: The Otter Trust
Suffolk Punch mare Nedging Crystal with her new unnamed foal. Picture: The Otter Trust

Trustee Ben Potterton said: “The birth of this filly foal is splendid news and we would like to thank our volunteers, staff, support organisations, veterinarians and farrier, who help us maintain our herd of pedigree Suffolk horses.

“Using this new technology, we believe that the future of the Suffolk horse can be secured. Our Suffolk Punch horses are an integral part of our heritage and instrumental in the management of water meadows along the Waveney Valley.

“These gentle giants distribute wildflower seed, create openings within the grassland and eat a wider range of plant species, including tree seedings and courser grasses.”

The Otter Trust has a long history of supporting UK native livestock breeds and, through its Earsham Wetland Centre and Dickleburgh Moor Nature Reserve, supports regional breeds including red poll Cattle, Norfolk horn sheep, Norfolk black turkey, Norfolk grey chicken, Norwich cropper pigeon, Ixworth chicken and silver appleyard duck.

Suffolk Punch is England’s oldest breed of working horse. Its bloodline and breed characteristics were established at Dickleburgh Hall.

Suffolk Punches have grazed Dickleburgh Moor since 1768, when Mr Gleed purchased a colt foal from Thomas Crisp of Ufford.

That horse is credited to be the judged standard for the Suffolk breed and all modern horses are thought to have derived from that stallion.

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