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NFU Countryside: Lowline gift to help vulnerable children

Two rare breed small cows have been donated to help a charity’s work to re-engage vulnerable children at risk of social and academic exclusion.

The Lowline calves have taken up residence with Wiltshire-based Jamie’s Farm, a charity that hosts city youngsters aged 11 to 16 for five-day residential experiences, with exposure to agricultural life and work helping them to reflect and determine a new path for themselves.

Geoff Roper and Nick Weber, owners of Dorset cattle breeders Wessex Lowlines, donated the two calves – Elsa and Ebony – after Jamie’s Farm co-founder Jamie Feilden visited seeking small, docile beef animals for the children to work with.

His own 100-strong herd of Aberdeen Angus are getting bigger over time and difficult for some children to handle. Lowlines are direct descendant of the Aberdeen Angus but two-thirds the height.

“The Lowline’s size and docile temperament makes them ideal for handling, which means the children who visit us can be involved in hands-on tasks such as grooming, feeding and halter training. The calves are one-year-old but are quite small, have a great temperament and are keen for contact,” said Jamie, who added that the charity is “massively grateful” to Wessex Lowlines for the donation.

“Through being exposed to working closely with animals such as the Lowlines, having real jobs with a real purpose and being in the beauty of the countryside, along with the therapy we also offer, it all really helps to move these children forward,” he said.

Geoff Roper said Wessex Lowlines was pleased to contribute the two calves to “such a good cause”.

He added: “They will make a big difference to Jamie’s Farm and the experience  the children have when they are staying there.”

* Jamie Feilden is pictured with the two Lowlines and children from Harris Academy Battersea on a residential stay at Jamie’s Farm.

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