Funding appeal to save Northumberland animal attraction receives huge support

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A funding appeal to save a Northumberland animal attraction from possible closure has received huge support.

Whitehouse Farm Centre, near Morpeth, was forced to close its doors two weeks ago to help restrict the spread of coronavirus.

However, its animals still need essential food, bedding and care which need to be paid for without the regular visitor income.

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The staff have set up a Go Fund Me page to try and help and it has raised nearly £2,500.

Lamb feeding at Whitehouse Farm Centre.Lamb feeding at Whitehouse Farm Centre.
Lamb feeding at Whitehouse Farm Centre.

Lewis Ross, who organised the funding appeal, said: “We are completely gobsmacked that a lot of amazingly generous, kindhearted people, have helped us raise over £2,000 towards looking after some much loved animals.”

When he launched the appeal, he outlined some of the difficulties closure presents for the weeks and months ahead.

“This has left us in a very difficult position with regards to the pay for our staff and the basic needs of the animals in our care such as feeding, heating and medication,” explained Lewis.

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“Any other time of year we would pull through this with sacrifice but sadly we did not yet get to experience our Easter break, which is where we pull in enough funding to cover our costs towards maintenance, animal care and the staff employed to watch over our animals.

Whitehouse FarmWhitehouse Farm
Whitehouse Farm

“We wish it didn’t have to come to this but should we need to remain shut even a couple months, Whitehouse Farm Centre faces closing permanently.

“We are down to minimal staff who remain on salary, as of now preparations are being made to sell off equipment and livestock just to ensure our remaining animals can be cared for.“If we have any hope of making it through to the end of this and reopening for all to come and enjoy when they feel safe to do so, we ask that you can give only what you can to keep us going that little bit longer.”

Staff are also posting regular videos on the Whitehouse Farm Facebook page to keep viewers informed and entertained.

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Kirkley Hall Zoo and the Northumberland Country Zoo, near Eshott, are also facing similar challenges.

Rachel Bird with Alexander the Meerkat at Whitehouse Farm.Rachel Bird with Alexander the Meerkat at Whitehouse Farm.
Rachel Bird with Alexander the Meerkat at Whitehouse Farm.

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