Hundreds of people attended a fundraising event at Rutland Farm Park and helped to raise £1,300 for charity.
The well-known attraction, which is due to reopen to the public early next year after being closed since 2001, hosted a day of fun on September 24 which saw visitors meet the animals and enjoy a play area, bouncy castle, stalls, refreshments and a car boot sale.
Proceeds from the event –organised farm owners Julie and Clive Ball and their daughter Amy Brocklehurst-Ball – will be donated to Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity.
Amy’s fiancé Richard Brocklehurst tragically died in 2013, aged just 29, after a battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.
Julie said: “We were absolutely delighted with the turnout – those who were on the gate estimate we had between 700 and 1,000 people visit us on the day.
“I was hoping we might raise around £1,000, so to beat the target is brilliant.
“Everyone had a fun day and we got a lot of positive feedback from visitors.”
Rutland Farm Park was a popular location for school trips and family days out during the 1980s and 90s, but was forced to shut 16 years ago following the UK-wide foot and mouth disease outbreak.
Now the Ball family have revealed they are hard at work preparing the site for reopening early in 2017.
A planning application for a new farm shop and tea room was recently submitted to Rutland County Council and, if permission is granted, work will begin immediately to get the attraction ready to welcome visitors.
Julie said they are working towards reopening either during the February half-term, or the Easter holidays.
She added: “We are looking forward to completing the work and reopening.
“Many of those who attended the charity day said it was great to be back on the farm for the first time in years and I’m sure they’ll be happy when we reopen next year.”
The farm park is set in 19 acres of land. It has been in the same family for many generations.Originally a dairy farm, it now specialises in rare breeds.