Rising animal feed costs force closure of Somerset community farm
The rising price of animal feed has been blamed for the closure of Peasedown St John's Community Farm.
The stable doors were closed for the final time last week, four years after the farm opened as a way of teaching people about the benefits of self-sufficiency.
Volunteers who helped run the site have spoken of their sadness.
Bridie Marshall, who is also a youth leader in Peasedown, said: "It is a real shame the farm has closed. Everyone who has been involved should be proud of what they have achieved."
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The farm was set up by resident Andy Hall who gained support for his idea from young people in the village through Peasedown Youth Centre and a £10,000 grant secured through the Youth Bank.
Since opening, it has developed into an educational hub and hosted sessions for teenagers, families and Norton Radstock College students.
Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall paid a visit to the farm in 2009.
All the animals which were not sent to slaughter for food in winter have been found new homes.
Stratton on the Fosse farmer Jeremy Padfield said he was sorry to hear about the closure.
Mr Padfield added: "It is a real shame because I think community farms are great ways of getting the whole community really involved in farming and wildlife."
He said that the horrendous weather last year had led to poor yields and poor quality crops in the UK, and this had now led to wheat being imported and driven up prices.
Mr Padfield said: "With pigs and poultry, 80 per cent of their diet would be feed and livestock and poultry farmers are suffering greatly as a result. The high prices are not something that are going to go away quickly."
Councillor Nathan Hartley said: "I'm grateful to everyone who has been a part of the farm project. Whether people have fed the animals, helped put up fencing, secured funding or attended an event, they can't be thanked enough.
"Above all, thanks must go to Andy Hall, and Chris and Bridie Marshall, who have worked tirelessly."