Doonies Rare Breeds Farm in Aberdeen has confirmed it will close for the final time next month – with most of the animals that will be made homeless due to be sold.
The closure of the much-loved attraction- which is a member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust is due to the new multi-million pound Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) being built.
Despite talk of Aberdeen City Council looking into relocating the farm, Graham Lennox, who runs the farm, told the Press & Journal he has “heard nothing about it”.
Now the farm has been served noticed that the lease will not be renewed when it expires on August 21.
‘It’s coming to an end’
Graham Lennox, who runs the 134-acre site in the south of Aberdeen with his wife Deborah, confirmed that some of the rare animals will be bought by local breeders.
The bulk, however, will be auctioned off south of the border.
“They’ll be transported down to Carlisle in September and sold off at a rare breeds auction,” Mr Lennox said.
Mr and Mrs Lennox have lived at the farm since 1994 and officially took it over from the council in February 2010 to run it as a commercial venture, however, it now it looks like the end for the facility.
Mr Lennox added: “I don’t suppose it’s going to happen, so it’s coming to an end and that’s it.”
He is worried about how its closure will affect children, with one of the farm’s aims being “to educate visitors about farming”, as it is where their food comes from.
One of only two farms in Scotland to be awarded “Approved Conservation Farm Park” status, Doonies also aims to:
- Provide people of all ages with a fun and informative visit.
- Help preserve rare and endangered native farm animals.
- Work closely with the RBST to increase the population of these endangered animals.
Mr Lennox said there has been “lots of comments” from visitors about its closure but is happy it will be open for one last summer holiday season.
He added: “We’ve seen quite a few things over the years, but we’ll just have to accept it’s going to happen and make the best of it.”
Doonies nearly closed in 2008
Doonies Rare Breeds Farm fell victim to £27 million Aberdeen City Council budget cuts in 2008, with it costing £100,000-a-year in running costs at the time.
However, the council did not shut the farm, with control instead being signed over to campaign group Friends of Doonies Farm, who were given six months to prove it could run as a viable business.
After successfully managing to increase visitor numbers by 50%, they were hit by the global financial services and found themselves “credit-crunched” due to having a lack of financial backers.
An online petition was set up at the end of May to save the attraction from closure, but so far has gathered only 74 signatures.
Aberdeen City Council has been contacted for comment.