Coronavirus: Appeal launched to help feed animals at popular farm near Bridgnorth hit by flooding and coronavirus
A family-run farm that saw business plummet due to flooding earlier this year is now struggling to feed its animals due to a further loss of income caused by coronavirus.
Tony Scott and his wife Christine work 12 to 14-hour days, seven days a week, at Scotty's Donkey and Animal Park – but said their reserve funds are now barely covering the cost of feeding the vast range of animals they keep, and are now asking the public for help.
Having started the business in 2013 with two donkeys and a couple of Jacob sheep, the couple now house alpacas, pigs, turkeys, donkeys, goats, horses, cows, rare-breed sheep, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and 10 different species of tortoise.
The popular attraction for families, on the a442 Bridgnorth Road in Norton – between Telford and Bridgnorth – usually opens to the public in February but has not had its usual income from visitors since 2019.
Tony, 68, who is classed as high risk, said he "couldn't imagine life without the animals".
He said: "I think it would be the end of me if the farm and animals were to go. I've put everything into this and I couldn't imagine life without the animals.
"We had a really bad start with the floods as the road to get to us was closed for nearly three weeks which stopped us opening.
"Then with coronavirus – we're really struggling at the moment. We're using at least a bag of feed a week for the 50 lambs, it's £60 just for milk and then we have to get pellets for them as well. It's a costly job now we're closed all together and finding food for the tortoises is becoming increasingly difficult.
"I've had to let go of the staff so now it's just down to my wife and I."
A fundraiser has been started on JustGiving to help purchase feed for the dozens of animals.
As the farm is on agricultural land, Tony has been unsuccessful in applying for government grants to help the business, and due to a lack of income since gaining flooding support from the bank, further aid has not been possible.
Tony added: "A friend of mine very kindly put up a JustGiving page. It is going, but not overly well at the moment.
"We want the public to know we're doing our very best to ensure the animals will be here for them to come and visit when this is all over.
"We've got a lot of followers online and regular customers, some that came twice a week with their children, so we hope to see them all again very soon."
Donations to the farm can be made at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scottysdonkeys
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