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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 12:31 GMT
Rare sheep head for Highgrove
Moria Linaker with her Ryeland sheep
Moria Linaker battled to save her flock from being culled
Ryeland sheep are being re-introduced into the Royal Family's farming history thanks to a promise made at the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

A lamb - which survived the mass cull more than 18 months ago - is to become a resident at the Highgrove home of the Prince of Wales.

Now a fully-grown ram, registered as D'Artagnan, with the pet name Harry, he will be heading from his farm in Cumbria with his mate Amanda Jane, who is in lamb.

Farmer Moira Linaker promised the Prince, during a visit to the stricken county, that he could have a Ryeland ram and ewe for his 1,080-acre home farm at Highgrove once the crisis was over.

Moria Linaker with Harry as a lamb
Ms Linkaker was pictured with Harry during the crisis

Ms Linaker made headlines when she was pictured cuddling Harry as he faced slaughter and repeatedly staved off all attempts to have her pure-bred flock culled.

She even barricaded herself in her farm, on an acre of land, to prevent ministry officials gaining access.

Plansd to transport the ram and ewe from her smallholding in Warwick Bridge, near Carlisle, to Highgrove are now under way.

Ms Linaker said: "His Royal Highness was so supportive during the foot-and-mouth situation in Cumbria.

Pure bred

"I knew that he did not have Ryeland sheep on his farm, which surprised me as King George III, under the influence of his agricultural adviser Joseph Banks, kept a pure-bred flock at Windsor.

"I thought it would be an honour, and indeed a pleasure, to re-introduce them back into the Royal Family and with who better than his Royal Highness."


These Ryelands will be a very welcome addition to the farm

Prince of Wales spokeswoman

Prince Charles, as president of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, told Ms Linaker he would be delighted to have them on his farm.

A spokeswoman for the Prince of Wales said: "The Prince of Wales is delighted to accept this very generous gift of this rare breed.

"As president of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust his Royal Highness is a firm supporter of rare and native breeds and puts his beliefs into practice by keeping rare breeds on his home farm at Highgrove.

"These Ryelands will be a very welcome addition to the farm and the Prince is extremely touched by this gesture."

The Highgrove farm is currently home to scores of rare and native breeds of sheep and cattle, including Irish Moiled cows, Tamworth sows and Cotswold ewes.


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See also:

09 Apr 01 | Programme highlights
21 Mar 01 | UK
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