The knock on effects of FMD have forced a stud for the endangered Suffolk Punch to close

A Suffolk Punch stud and rare breeds farm has been forced to close because FMD restrictions have hit its visitor numbers so hard.

The 72-acre Rede Hall Farm at Chedburgh, Suffolk, first opened to the public eight years ago. It was becoming a popular tourist attraction, offering the opportunity to see the farm’s 12 Suffolk Punches, one Shire and two Percherons, at work.

Owner Nigel Oakley, a former president of the Suffolk Punch Society, said: “We struggled to cover our costs. We have to have insurance and comply with health and safety rules and that has to be funded whether anyone is coming or not.”

Visitor numbers this year were 5,000 down on last year – in one week the farm had 18 school visits cancelled because education authorities had advised schools not to visit farms.

Read full story in this week’s (11 October) Horse & Hound magazine, or click here to subscribe.