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Animals from Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in Boughton Monchelsea saved thanks to public donations and reopening measures

A goat sanctuary in Maidstone says things are looking up for its animals since the government gave the green light for attractions to reopen.

Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in Boughton Monchelsea has been welcoming back visitors for almost two weeks bringing in essential funds needed to help it recover from Covid-19.

Visitors can still feed the animals from separate feeding booths. Picture: Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats
Visitors can still feed the animals from separate feeding booths. Picture: Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats

Like many charities across the county Buttercups, which is the only sanctuary for goats in the UK, has been hit hard by the pandemic.

While closed to visitors, owners had concerns the animals would need to be put down unless urgent funds were raised.

As a result, it launched its emergency Covid-19 funding appeal to pay for food and medical treatment.

It was thanks to these kind donations Founder Robert Hitch said the sanctuary was able to save the goats from their horrific fate and care was able to keep going.

Mr Hitch said: "At the moment, we are only open four days a week, Thursday to Sundays, but it has been so nice to be back.

Bob Hitch with his goats. Picture: Steve Crispe
Bob Hitch with his goats. Picture: Steve Crispe

"We have had such a good response from people and it was thanks to the funding appeal we were able to keep looking after the goats.

"There was one point we were really worried we may have to put them down because we just didn't have the funds. That was the last thing we wanted to do and thankfully that hasn't needed to happen.

"Our emergency appeal is still ongoing because although the situation is improving slowly, if there's a second spike like a lot of people are talking about, we need to be prepared so we're not faced with the same situation again."

The charity which cares for more than 130 goats, has been saving the herbivores from cruelty and neglect for more than 30 years.

Now reopen for visitors, new measures have been introduced to keep staff and guests safe.

Families can walk around the fields at a social distance. Picture: Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats
Families can walk around the fields at a social distance. Picture: Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats

It now has dedicated entrances and exits to make it easier for people to maintain a social distance along with additional signage.

Mr Hitch added: "The stable area is out of bounds but there is still the whole of the park people can wander around.

"The tea room is also closed but we are still offering takeaway drinks and people can come and feed the goats from separated feeding booths."

Other animal parks in Maidstone are following suit with reopening planned for July 4.

Kent Life on Lock Lane in Sandling is another gearing up to make changes to its 28-acre site ready for Saturday.

The farm attraction has introduced a number of new measures including restricting the number of guests on site each day.

On its website, Kent Life says it is encouraging guests to pre-book time slots online to help manage capacity. One way systems have been put in place along with additional hand washing facilities.

It is also encouraging people to stick to contactless payments where possible and to take all of their rubbish home.

To find out more about how to help Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats, visit the website by clicking here.

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