Last eight turkeys left today after desperate appeal
Main image: Eight of the turkeys were the last to secure good homes and left today (14 May). Picture Andy Moseley.
A Knowle West smallholding which is closing down has finally secured new homes for its remaining livestock – following a desperate appeal on Facebook.
Andy’s Haven, behind The Park Centre in Daventry Road, was once a much-loved community garden and small urban farm often visited by the community.
Construction is underway to create a new community hub to the right of The Park’s current building – where the organisation will be moving with all the businesses and groups which rent premises there.
Andy Moseley (67) who has been running the smallholding for 12 years decided against the move because he “couldn’t guarantee the safety of his animals” with the new site built next to the school grounds.
He retired at the end of March and was desperate to find loving homes for his menagerie – managing to secure places for Jess the pig, all the hens, geese and ducks.
But due to “time wasters” he still had eight turkeys to re-home and was worried they would have to be destroyed if someone did not come forward to take them.
Today (Friday 14 May) they were collected to be taken to a farm in Winterbourne where they will be able to happily roam.
“I wanted good loving homes for all of them…”
Andy says: “I wanted good loving homes for all of them, I wouldn’t let the turkeys go to just anyone. They’ve been with me since the start and I’d rather they all go together as they’ve been brought up together.
“I would have taken them with me but my neighbours wouldn’t have been too pleased.
“Jess has gone to a farm near Bristol airport. They keep sending me pictures of them cuddling her, she’s got other pigs with her and she’s really happy.
“Twenty-five hens have all gone to a friend of mine who rents ground from a farmer and they are all running round and happy and I know she’ll look after them.”
Andy is taking the two goats Roly and Dolly to live in his 100ft garden along with ten of the hens and his two beehives.
He has let the community plot run down as there has been no point planting anything when “it’s going to be bulldozed.” He now has until the autumn to clear the area before The Park moves to its new site.
He is selling the polytunnels which housed all his produce sold at The Park reception for many years and there are no longer the flowers that brightened the Haven – and helped him win a string of awards in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) South West in Bloom Pennant Scheme.
A wildlife pond in a nature corner – which was built by volunteers and featured on the BBC’s Urban Jungle programme – will be left because it contains protected newts.
Andy says: “The Park is moving in November when the new building should be finished, so I have to get it all cleared by then.”
He admits it has been a wrench to see the place go which he developed from a waste piece of ground but says: “My animals are everything to me and they have to come first…
“I’ll miss my work and it’s upsetting to go but I’ll still go back to The Park and do the pots and planters.
“I officially retired in March but I’m not one to sit and twiddle my thumbs, I will still have some of the animals and the bees and there’s a lot of work to do on my house.”