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Tiny Steps Petting Farm in Thurlby near Bourne reopens with support from Don’t Lose Hope





A popular petting farm which was destined for closure is instead expanding after a drastic U-turn by its owners.

Tracey and Dave Hall opened Tiny Steps Petting Farm in Thurlby in 2021 as a not-for-profit venture to show the therapeutic benefits that animals can bring, particularly for those with disabilities.

After a string of problems, it was announced in June last year the petting farm would be closing.

Tiny Steps owner Tracey Hall with Alfie the donkey
Tiny Steps owner Tracey Hall with Alfie the donkey

After receiving advice from Bourne-based mental health charity Don’t Lose Hope and objections to the farm quietening down, Tracey decided to open the attraction back up to the public earlier this month.

Throughout the time the farm was closed, open days for home-schooled children and people with disabilities continued.

Tracey, who has owned the Park Road Farm since 2005, said: “People were telling us they wanted the petting farm to stay open. We were really popular.”

Tiny Steps Petting Farm is set to close at the end of June
Tiny Steps Petting Farm is set to close at the end of June

“People are so pleased they can return,” Tracey, 61, added.

“We have also had people visit for the first time and describe it as a ‘little gem’. It has been amazing.”

Tiny Steps has a team of more than 25 volunteers who look after the wallabies, donkeys, alpacas, sheep, goats, horses, chickens and pigs.

The goats have fun in the sun on their play equipment
The goats have fun in the sun on their play equipment

South Kesteven District Council this month gave the go-ahead for an extension to the existing barn and additional storage buildings and enclosures being built.

Tracey is applying to the district council for funding of £20,000 for the extension, which will include an educational and craft room, a meeting space and toilet facilities.

The farm previously applied for planning permission to put a log cabin on the site, chiefly to improve security.

Alongside the objections and several inspections, Tracey was left emotionally drained and concerned for the animals, which contributed to the closure.

However, she now describes being ‘more relaxed’, knowing she has the support of Don’t Lose Hope as well as the council.

“Before we were struggling to get any help but now I feel we have people to reach out to,” she added.

Will you be visiting the farm? Let us know in the comments.



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