RYEDALE Folk Museum has welcomed some new arrivals in the form of Tamworth pigs.

The Tamworth is considered Britain’s oldest pure-breed pig and will give museum visitors a strong idea of the types of pigs that have been farmed in North Yorkshire for centuries.

After the Second World War, Tamworth numbers declined rapidly, as farmers concentrated on faster-growing breeds.

Now, there are fewer than 300 breeding pairs, meaning the Tamworth is currently classified as "vulnerable" by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The pair have come from Temple Newsam’s specialist breeding centre, Home Farm, near Leeds, and can now be found exploring their new home, near Ryedale Folk Museum’s reconstructed Iron Age Roundhouse.

Staff at Ryedale Folk Museum said that they are delighted to welcome these distinctive new pigs, which are known for their unusual gingery colouring.

Craig Irving, operations manager, said: “Getting our new pigs from Temple Newsam marks an important part of the Museum’s season.

“Our visitors love to feed them and we feel it’s important to be part of a living legacy, working with Temple Newsam to bring these rare breeds to the attention of visitors.

“We all know that many animals are endangered globally, but sometimes forget that, right on our doorstep, farm animals that have inhabited these isles since the Iron Age are in danger of being lost for ever.”

Previously, the museum has been home to other rare-breed pigs, including Middle Whites and Saddlebacks. As well as the Tamworth pigs, visitors can currently see rare-breed chickens and Manx Loaghtan sheep when they visit.