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Farm re-opens to visitors for first time since blaze
ROVES Farm has risen from the ashes and welcomed back visitors for the first time since its devastating fire.
The family-run farm was struck by disaster in May when an electrical fault led to the visitor centre being completely gutted.
The centre had been the site’s main reception and ticketing area, as well as hosting arts and crafts activities.
The farm, run by the Burr family, faced being shut indefinitely as a result of the damage but hard work by staff saw it re-opened to season ticket holders on Saturday.
It will open to everyone on Wednesday.
Owner Rupert Burr has transformed the agricultural barn, previously used for Christmas activities and storage, into the new activity barn.
“I am so pleased to be back open and have people back here,” he said.
“The last few weeks have been incredibly difficult and tiring, trying to get everything in place.
“To see the fire and the damage that was done was just devastating.
“The support we have had, though, from visitors and people on Facebook has been amazing.
“We had hundreds of people here on Saturday and that is what we want.”
Roves Farm marketing manager Pippa Burr said: “The last seven weeks have been extremely busy, and we are very grateful to all of the Roves Farm team.
“They have all put an endless amount of effort and hours into transforming our agricultural barn, previously used for our Christmas activities, into the new activity barn.”
The tidy-up has included installing toilets and painting and redecorating the temporary barn to be used as the main reception and focal area.
They have also made children’s play equipment from scratch.
A whirlwind of activity has ensured tractor rides, animals and play activities were on hand for youngsters to enjoy.
Hundreds of messages of support were sent to the farm during the clear-up effort and the Burr family were inundated by volunteers wanting to help out.
Season ticket holder Martha Way, from North Star, was there for the re-opening with daughter Jess, who was enjoying the petting farm.
Martha said: “We were really sad to hear the news about the fire and were relieved none of the staff or animals were hurt.
“We have been checking the internet for updates and it is great it is back open.
“There is such a community feel to the farm, which is great, and the children love it.”
Rebuilding the wrecked barn needs planning permission and the work will not be done until next year.
As well as opening to the public from Wednesday, Roves Farm has extended its season and will open throughout November.
For more information visit www.rovesfarm.co.uk.