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Rutland Farm Park in Oakham is forced to sell animals and equipment to cover the winter costs




Animals are being sold off by the owners of a family-run farm park to help it survive the Winter.

Rutland Farm Park reopened in 2017 but a combination of two harsh winters and the death of its founder in December has plunged the business into financial turmoil.

The owners have been forced to put alpacas, lambs and sheep, cattle, ducks, cockerels and rabbits on sale - as well as farm equipment - to make ends meet after Daphne Ball’s assets were frozen.

Rutland Farm Park owners Clive and Julie Ball and Amy Brocklehurt-Ball
Rutland Farm Park owners Clive and Julie Ball and Amy Brocklehurt-Ball

They are now waiting to be able to sell off farmland to pay her inheritance tax, but the process could take until June.

Daphne’s son Clive now runs the park with wife Julie and daughter Amy Brocklehurst-Ball.

Julie said: “If people want us to be here in the Summer, we need them to come and visit now.

“The Winter we opened was one of the coldest we’ve had. With lots of extra bedding and food for the animals to buy, it became an expensive time.

“We’ve put so much into keeping the farm running there is nothing to fall back on. It’s a real worry that we will run out of money. If we sell the animals to pay the bills this month, there’s nothing else to sell next month.”

Despite the setbacks the family is determined to continue the business.

Clive, 67, said: “I’m a fourth generation farmer so it’s in my blood.”

His daughter Amy, the farm manager, added: “Children don’t know what real country life is like. We want them to come here and learn about real farming.”

A GoFundMe page set up by Hayley Bray, of Graffham Drive, Oakham, has raised £530 for the farm.

She said: “I didn’t think it was fair for the family to be going through such a hard time whilst grieving. The farm has been in the family for so many years, it’s awful that it could close because of
this.”

In the meantime the Balls are calling on people to keep visiting their farm in Uppingham Road, Oakham.

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