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Animals return to Cogges Manor Farm
8:10am Thursday 22nd March 2012 in Country matters
EIGHTY new farm animals are being introduced to Cogges Manor Farm in Witney in time for the season.
It is the first time the Witney tourist attraction has had livestock since volunteers took control.
The new animals, including sheep, pigs, goats and cows, have been loaned by Foxbury Farm in Brize Norton.
Cogges previously had animals on the site before Oxfordshire County Council cut funding and the attraction was given to volunteers to run.
The first sheep has been handed over and new Cogges director Colin Shone was there to welcome it.
He said: “We have always wanted to have animals back here. We had a short time to set up last year and it was difficult to put in place a large amount of animals, but we have had more time this year.
“Animals are part of an understanding of food, which is what Cogges is about.”
Foxbury Farm owner Colin Dawes said: “We did it for them when the council was running it, and we were happy to do it again now. Cogges is a big part of Witney and it is an opportunity for people to get close to animals again.”
The farm will officially reopen for the season on March 31 with a ‘meet the animals’ day, which will include face painting and children’s activities.
As well as the farm animals, Cogges will also have new rabbits, which have been donated by the RSPCA to raise awareness for adoption and animal welfare.
Cogges also has a new operator of its cafe, The Simple Bakery Coffee Shop, which will sell home-made cakes and locally produced food.
Mr Shone, who previously worked for the National Trust, became director of Cogges in November and is one of two paid staff at the otherwise volunteer-run farm.
He said: “Cogges is a wonderful place and a wonderful project and it is inspiring to work with the volunteers. I remember coming here with my children and Cogges has always been a special place for me.
For more information, call 01993 772602 or visit cogges.org.uk