New homes needed for 37 cats as heartbroken Shropshire farmer moves out

A Shropshire man facing having to leave the smallholding he was born in 57 years ago is also facing the heartache of finding homes for his 37 farm cats.

Graham Garmston
Graham Garmston

Graham Garmston, 57, from Myddle, was given 12 months notice that the lease on his Shropshire County Council smallholding was coming to an end.

His 15-year tenancy is up on March 24 and Mr Garmston has still to find somewhere to live.

Although he had to sell his milking herd last year when his contract with the milk company came to an end, Mr Garmston still has three milking cows in calf and two beef cows in calf.

"The milk company only seemed to want to work with bigger farmers," he said.

"I had about 30 milking cows and it got to the stage where I was being paid 22p a litre for my milk which was costing me 30p a litre to produce."

As well as having to sell his remaining cows, Mr Garmston is also working with the charity Shropshire Street Cats to find new homes for the 37 cats that live on the farm.

Interest

He feeds the cats twice a day and they repay him by keeping the farm mouse free.

"I haven't see a mouse on the farm in a good long time," he said.

"The cats are all ages, two had litters of kittens recently."

There are even tailess, Manx cats on the farm.

Jane Jones, from the Shropshire Street Cats, said there had already been a lot of interest from the public offering to rehome the cats.

However she stressed that giving feral cats a new home was not easy.

"They have to be kept inside while they adjust to their new life, but there also has to be plenty for them to see from the window to keep them occupied," she said.

"Feral cats are often in small colonies and so hearing from people who have the land to have a small group is wonderful.

"They have been used to living outside, in barns, with a lot going on to keep them interested."

Anyone who thinks they could give one or more of the cats a home can contact the Shropshire Street Cats on shropshirestreetcats.co.uk or email shropshirestreetcats@outlook.com.

Shropshire Council issued a statement saying that talks were underway to look at the possibility of granting an extension to give time for the animals to be rehomed.

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