A FLOCK of rare breed sheep at Dorset's Kingston Lacy estate has won first place in this year's Portland Online Show.

The show was judged by Countryfile's Adam Henson and his sister, Libby Henson, who is well known in the world of pedigree livestock and conservation of rare farmyard breeds.

Kingston Lacy’s flock of rare breed Portland sheep, which arrived on the National Trust estate in 2018, won first place in the 'best group of lambs' category.

Estate livestock ranger Amy Millard said: "Traditional conservation grazing techniques are at the heart of our efforts to create a more dynamic parkland full of wildlife.

"By carefully controlling grazing factors such as time of year, duration and number of animals, the sheep help us manage the estate’s wood pastures and wildflower rich hay meadows to support a great variety of plants and wildlife.

"These sheep may seem nothing to do with conservation, but they are another step forward for nature on the estate and the fact they are now prize-winning is a lovely bonus.”

Read more: Royal visit to highlight British rare breeds and promote farm parks

The pedigree flock of Portland sheep is a relatively recent addition to the National Trust estate at Kingston Lacy, which is perhaps better known for its pedigree herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle. The sheep were introduced to carry out conservation grazing and to support a local rare breed which originated from the Isle of Portland.

The Portland sheep can be seen grazing in the parkland at Kingston Lacy which reopened its garden and parkland to the public in June.

A National Trust spokesman said: "As well as the prizewinning livestock there is plenty on offer for visitors including a garden bursting with summer colour and a wildlife-filled woodland trail.

"The house at Kingston Lacy remains closed at present but the toilets, shop and takeaway café are open for visitors to use.

Visitors to Kingston Lacy, near Wimborne, must pre-book a ticket in advance.

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy for details.