An MF 4709 tractor is the latest recruit to The Big Sheep in Bideford, one of Devon’s most popular family theme parks.
With farm animals at its heart, The Big Sheep’s exciting range of attractions includes an animal barn and petting corner, Ewetopia Indoor Playground, kids tractor driving school, a roller coaster plus live shows such as sheep racing, lamb feeding and duck trials. Lambing takes place from February to September to ensure continuous interest for visitors.
Another big draw is the farm Safari Tractor Ride which is where the new MF 4709 comes in. From 11am to 5pm every day in season, the 95hp tractor pulls a 30-seater passenger trailer and takes visitors on a trip around the working farm taking in all the animals including 300 sheep (Mules, Dorsets and Suffolks) pigs, goats, ponies, llamas and alpacas. At the end of the ride, kids can have their photograph taken with the tractor.
When not on safari duty, the MF 4709, which was supplied local MF dealer, Alan Snow Agricultural Engineers, is relied on for most of the regular farm jobs - from moving stock and feed to hauling muck trailers.
“The MF 4709 works hard!” says Chris Reid, Farm Manager. “We chose it chiefly for its ease of use. We have several staff who drive the tractor so we were looking for something modern and heavy-duty yet straightforward to drive with great all-round cab visibility – the MF 4709 fitted the bill!”
Along with the MF 4709, The Big Sheep also runs an old MF 35 tractor painted bright pink which is used for the daily piggy toddler ride, pulling five little piglet cars around the park!
Life-size tractors aren’t the only Massey Ferguson presence at The Big Sheep. In order to ensure that the theme park is fully MF-branded, a fleet of 12 MF pedal tractors was donated jointly by dealer Alan Snow and Massey Ferguson. “The kids love the big tractor and the pedal tractors,” says Alan Lake, Sales Manager at Alan Snow.
Before The Big Sheep was an amusement park it was known as Barton Farm, a busy sheep farm owned by six generations of the same family. Due to the challenges in farming, owner Rick Turner decided to bring in more income by turning the farm into an attraction in 1988. The site started with an animal park and restaurant before adding entertainment attractions and gaining world attention for it daily sheep race. The Big Sheep now has nine daily shows and 15 attractions including Devon’s longest and fastest roller coaster.
For more info, go to www.thebigsheep.co.uk
“We have several staff who drive the tractor so we were looking for something modern and heavy-duty yet straightforward to drive with great all-round cab visibility – the MF 4709 fitted the bill!”