A Touching Tribute to Joe at the 2016 NFAN awards

The late Joe Henson, has received the National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Henson (or ‘Mr H’ as he was affectionately known to us here) was aware of the accolade before he sadly passed away in October, and was “absolutely delighted”. He was honoured at the NFAN award ceremony on 3rd February.

“The Cotswold Farm Park was the first of its kind in the country and I know Dad was very proud that there are now hundreds of open farms all over the country, educating the public.”

-Adam Henson

Having taken on the tenancy of Bemborough Farm in 1962 with his old school friend, John Neave, Joe’s desire to breed pedigree livestock and his pioneering interest in rare breed conservation led to the opening of Cotswold Farm Park in 1971.

Working with a number of like-minded conservationists, Joe was instrumental in the foundation of the Rare Breed’s Survival Trust (RBST) of which he became founder Chairman in 1973. The example set by Joe, and the work of the RBST, has ensured that no breeds of farm animal have become extinct since the Trust’s foundation.

As a lifelong champion of farming and education, Joe received an MBE for his services to rare breed conservation in 2011. Joe Henson’s enduring legacy is the widespread recognition of the importance of genetic diversity and the resurgence of rare and traditional breeds.