A litter of rare breed piglets have been delivered at Sacrewell shortly before its Mill reopens after months of restoration and conservation work.
The offspring of sow Maggie, who is on loan from the Goosetree Herd in Coates, were born on Saturday, July 4, at the farm and activity centre in Thornhaugh near Peterborough.
The British Lop pig is one of the rarest breeds of native pig in the country having lost popularity in the 1940s due to their unsuitableness for food production.
Their numbers today are the greatest since that period but the breed still remain vulnerable according to the Rare Breed Survival Trust.
Marketing executive at Sacrewell, Megan Allen, said: “It is a particularly happy moment as our own sow, Ada, failed to conceive earlier this year. The litter is a lovely welcome in time for the summer holidays”.
The 10 piglets will remain at the farm throughout the summer with their mother, Maggie, in order for children and visitors at Sacrewell to see them develop and grow.
There is yet more excitement for prospective visitors however with the coincidental opening of the resurrected Mill.
The programme has seen both staff and the Tinwell-based construction company, Messenger Construction, delve into the history books to create an authentic restoration of the 18th century grade II* building.
The project officer for the Mill, Jane Harrison, has said how much of a huge boost the £1.8 million project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the William Scott Abbott Trust, will be to the community.
She explained: “We have been incredibly fortunate to meet and interview the people who lived and worked at Sacrewell before the Mill closed commercially in the 1960s. Using their stories and our own knowledge, we have brought the Mill back to life”.
The Mill was originally built in 1755 on a site that dated back to the Roman times and so wasn’t the most stable. “We had a few hairy moments” Jane said. She also wished to thank the construction company, noting how “their quick thinking team of architects and conservators saved the project”.
On Saturday, July 18, the Mill will open again for the very first time, exclusively to Sacrewell members. The public will then be able to go along and see both the Mill and the newly-born piglets the following day, July 19, from 9.30am-5pm.