February 2, 2023 5.30 pm This story is over 9 months old

On-site accommodation denied at petting farm where intruders have ‘poisoned animals’

They want to improve the farm’s safety

A petting farm which says their animals have been harmed by intruders have been denied permission for overnight accommodation.

Tiny Steps Petting Farm in Thurlby hoped to build a log cabin on site to improve security and help with breeding seasons.

The owners claim animals have been poisoned and let out of their pens numerous times by intruders.

The farm hit headlines last year when a wallaby named Ant repeatedly escaped, possibly due to interference.

However, South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee said it fell foul of rules about residential properties in the middle of the countryside.

They encouraged the farm, located near Bourne, to pursue their dreams for an educational facility in future.

Owner Tracey Hall told the committee: “There have been numerous incidents of trespass, damage and malicious poisoning which have been reported to the police. CCTV has also been tampered with.

“Animals have been put at risk and have died. They might have been saved if there was someone on site.”

Caroline Corlis, who has been a volunteer since the farm opened, said: “It has enriched my life, and it has 100% backing from the village. Unfortunately, we can’t move forward if we can’t breed animals.

“I give talks in a draughty barn, which my ageing bones don’t like. I would love to give educational talks in a warm environment.”

Ant the wallaby disappeared fro Tiny Steps Petting Farm for several days last year | Photo: Tiny Steps Petting Farm

While some agricultural buildings are permitted in the countryside, the committee was told that the farm didn’t have a viable business plan at this point.

It was suggested that a temporary caravan might be within planning laws instead of a log cabin.

Councillor Judy Stevens said: “I hope the petting farm won’t be discouraged as they are doing a wonderful thing that we desperately need in this area.

“Unfortunately, we can’t give permission. I hope that they will engage with the council and come back with a more suitable application.”

Chair Councillor David Bellamy added: “There is an awful lot they can do to improve security in the meantime – at the moment it is completely open from the road.”

MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now.