29. Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park

Adam Henson with two residents of the Cotswold Farm Park.
The late Joe Henson, who opened the Cotswold Farm Park in 1971.The Cotswold Farm Park can claim to have a rare breed for just about every week of the year.

Situated in open north Cotswold countryside, near Guiting Power, the Cotswold Farm Park has come a long way since it was opened in 1971 by Joe Henson, a farmer with a passion for rare breed conservation.

Now open to the public for 10 months of the year, the farm park is home to more than 50 breeds - from Gloucester cattle to Guernsey goats, Cotswold sheep to crested ducks - and attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year.

As well as getting up close and personal with all sorts of farm animals, visitors can enjoy the demonstration barn, touch barn, farm safari ride, adventure playground, conservation area and gift shop and café.

Bottle feeding the new-born lambs is always a popular attraction with visitors.

There is also the chance to help bottle feed the lambs and goat kids, hold a chick and experience seasonal demonstrations, including lambing, shearing and milking.

Between 1900 and 1973, 26 native breeds of farm animal became extinct in Britain, which led to the launch of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and in 1973, Joe Henson became the founder chairman of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST), an organisation dedicated to the conservation of Britain’s livestock heritage. The RBST is now a thriving organisation with over 10,000 members and has the Prince of Wales as its patron.

In 2011, Joe Henson was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to conservation. He died in 2015.

The Cotswold Farm Park is very much a family business and is now headed up by Joe's son Adam, who runs the operation with his friend and business partner Duncan Andrews.

After winning the chance to become a presenter of the BBC's popular Countryside programme in 2001, Adam Henson has since developed a successful television career.

As well as getting his own Adam's Farm slot on Countryside, which moved to a primetime Sunday evening slot in 2009, he also teamed up with celebrity chef Nigel Slater on Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen in 2013, where they joined forces to show the process of producing and cooking Britain’s favourite foods.

In 2014, the Cotswold Farm Park was awarded Farm Attraction of the Year by the National Farm Attractions Network.

More information

Cotswold Farm Park
Bemborough Farm, Kineton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 5UG
01451 850307

© Loving The Cotswolds. 2018.