Published: 00:01, 17 April 2014
Popular Kent family attraction Farming World will not reopen this year as planned, it can be revealed.
The landowner said the site will remain closed throughout 2014 - but has refused to explain why.
The doors were meant to open for the start of the season during the Easter holidays, but disappointed revellers arrived to see little more than an empty field.
Owner Michael Older would only say: "Farming World will not be reopening this Easter. It will not be opening this year."
The news has come as a shock to many after Mr Older assured the public six months ago the farm would reopen as normal following winter maintenance.
He took on the Boughton site in October after handing previous bosses notice to leave and said he would be running the attraction with the help of his children.
Mr Older said at the time: "I can confirm that Farming World will reopen as normal in Easter 2014 following the customary winter break for annual maintenance.
"Over time it is my intention to improve and expand facilities at this important Kent attraction."
He spoke about his intentions to bring in a "better variety of farm animals" and suggested "staff needn't worry".
But Jack Ayling, who has worked at Farming World for the last three years, is among those left without a job this summer.
He said: "A lot of the Farming World staff were very sad to lose such a great place to work, with many treating it like home, enjoying the chance to interact with the public and educate children about farming and where food comes from.
"Sadly, that has now been lost from the area and is a great loss, as educating children about farming is so important."
Mr Ayling added: "I still keep in touch with the farms which bought all our animals and am pleased to say they are all breeding well and the heavy horses are still doing their work for the previous owners."
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