We get published!
Miss Simpkin doe a lot of work with the British Pig Association's Junior Pig Club and got involved in a conservation project at her previous school. The club imported four very rare British Landrace pigs (the rarest native breed of pig in the UK) from Northern Ireland and two of them have ended up here at Hunters Hill. Pigs are split into breeds (based on how they look) but the breeds are also further split into bloodlines. Each breed has male and female lines, so for example our two pigs are the Bessie and Dorina lines, and some lines are more common than others. There are only three breeding Dorina line Landrace pigs left anywhere so she is extremely rare!
All female piglets that are registered for breeding take their mum's name, and all male piglets for breeding take the dad's name. Each pig then has a unique ID number and ear tattoo so we don't get them muddled up! Our pigs' official names are Dennett Dorina 48B and Dennett Bessie 57B. The "Dennett" refers to the herd they were bred by, in Northern Ireland. You can look the pigs up on the BPA's website and trace their ancestors back to when records were first kept!
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust also imported two British Landrace pigs and the school has had use of their boar, Survival Hamster 1. The RBST asked Miss Simpkin to write about how "Hammy" was getting on and they published the article in the latest issue of their members' magazine, The Ark. Daniel and Jack from year 9 are shown in the picture, taken by Mrs Sarson. Amari in year 10 also featured in the Winter 2016 edition of Practical Pigs magazine in a picture taken by Mr Drummond.
The Hamster line is also very rare so when we have Spirehouse Hamsters and Spirehouse Dorinas ready to sell in the Spring, hopefully they will do their bit to improve the numbers of pedigree British Landrace when they have their own piglets.