Online fundraiser to help community farm care for rescue animals

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep. She is pictured with (from left) Molly-Mae Reed, 10, Arthur Reed, 7, Elsie Reed, 8, and Matt Reed, 37, from Bedfield in Suffolk. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

A community farm with grand ambitions wants to raise £1,000 so it can care for rescue animals.

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep. She is pictured with (from left) Molly-Mae Reed, 10, Arthur Reed, 7, Elsie Reed, 8, and Matt Reed, 37, from Bedfield in Suffolk. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Longwater Community Farm, off Longwater Lane in Costessey, launched an online GoFundMe appeal so it can take in animals in an emergency situation.

The creatures would then have a forever home and the money would pay for food and medical needs this winter.

Longwater Community Farm, which started in 2014, currently has four sheep, two goats, three pigs and six chickens.

Farm manager, Shona Howes, who set up the community enterprise, said: "The animals started out as a little bit by accident."

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep

Shona Howes (right), farm manager of Longwater Community Farm in Costessey, feeding the rescue sheep. She is pictured with (from left) Molly-Mae Reed, 10, Arthur Reed, 7, Elsie Reed, 8, and Matt Reed, 37, from Bedfield in Suffolk. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE


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About a year ago the three mini Kunekune pigs were brought to the farm after facing an uncertain future.

Ms Howes added: "The animals are expensive to look after. That is why we set up the £1,000 fundraiser to keep things ticking over and so we don't say no if there is a life or death situation. We don't want to say no because we don't have the resources.

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"Unfortunately some animals are sent to slaughter. They have a forever home here and are all looked after. They feel happy and safe here."

She said the animals were a good draw for families visiting the farm on pre-arranged sessions and courses.

They also fitted in with the farm's drive to promote ethical smallholding practices.

Ms Howes, 34, from Buckingham Road in Norwich, said: "The animals have all got their own little unique characters. They were a bit tentative over the first few months but they have grown in confidence. They make the farm now. I cannot wait to get more."

The animals will also be used as part of the farm's educational sessions it holds with local children, charity groups and young people.

Ms Howes, a former community volunteer worker, bought half of the site comprising of 2.5 acres, in 2014 from her grandad who used to rear pigs on the land.

She bought the remaining half in 2016.

The farm now delivers 20 vegetable boxes each week, using produce grown on the site, to Thorpe, Norwich city centre, Taverham and Costessey.

No designated wild animals can be taken on by the farm.

Visit www.gofundme.com/rescue-animals-fund to donate.

For information about the farm visit www.longwater.org.uk or follow Longwater Community Farm on Facebook or Instagram.

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