Farm brings rare breeds and new jobs to the Isle
A new animal farm on the Isle will bring rare breeds such as llamas and alpacas to the region – and create seven jobs.
Shepherds Place Farm, a new petting farm and rare breeds visitor centre, has now opened its doors on Akeferry Road in Graizelound, near Haxey.
Owner and locksmith by trade, Keith Phillips, took over the holding 18 months ago after it shut down – and has spent time getting the site ready.
He says he has a passion for animals and has a five-year plan to create an attraction that will be used as a family venue and an educational centre for schools.
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The farm used to hold goats, sheep and chickens. But llamas, alpacas, grey and white rheas, emus, miniature horses and different breeds of pigs and rare breed poultry will all be at the new farm – and meerkats could soon be joining too.
Mr Phillips said: "I have always been used to different animals and I found this site had potential.
"Some friends and I have been working every weekend, digging and getting it ready for opening. It's not completely finished – I still have to finish the shop and the incubator room, but I have a five-year plan.
"I've put everything I own into the project and it's run into thousands of pounds.
"I want it to be child-friendly and educational for kids."
South Axholme School has been invited to get involved with a project starting in September which will see students paint the barn, which will house guinea pigs and rabbits.
"I'm looking to keep as many rare breeds as I can," said Mr Phillips.
"I'd like to help British endangered breeds too.
"We've got some red deer coming next week and meerkats in July.
"We've got so many different sizes because people bought them as micro pigs expecting them to sit in a tea cup but then they grew into full-size pigs."
The project will see the creation of five part-time jobs and two full-time roles.
"I want to make it something for the local community and build a little model railway track around the outskirts so children can ride round the farm and see the animals," Mr Phillips said.
The farm is also looking for volunteers to help care for the animals.
Other facilities include an educational centre, a picnic area, a bouncy castle, a play area and a cafe.
For further information, log on to www. shepherdsplacefarm. com
Admission is £4.50 for adults. Children between 3 and 15 and senior citizens can enter for £3.50.
Under-3s get in for free. Family tickets are £15.
The site is open from 10am to 5pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during term time and bank holidays and seven days a week in holidays.