The owners of Melsop Farm Park are urging people to visit local tourist attractions this summer, as local businesses aim to hit the ground running as they reopen their doors after lockdown.
The attraction, which is just outside of Watton, will reopen on Saturday July 4th after closing when lockdown was introduced in March.
Staff have been busy implementing increased measures to keep their visitors safe and despite the introduction of these measures, visitors will still be able to access all of the farm’s animals – which includes a Bagot Goats, Gloucester Cattle, Balwen Welsh Mountain Sheep and a multitude of other rare breeds.
Melsop Farm Park could have opened from June 15 but Jordan Stone, 26, one of the attraction’s owners said they didn’t want to rush into reopening before everything was in place.
He said: “We didn’t reopen straight away because we wanted to be as prepared as possible and give ourselves the time we needed to make visiting as safe as possible for everyone.
“Being a farm park our cleaning and hygiene regime was already very strong but we have added extra hand sanitizer stations in addition to the ones we already had in place, installed screened counters, ensured all queues follow the social distancing guidelines and introduced a one way system through all of our buildings.
“Our serving area has also been expanded to ensure people can buy food and drink safely when they visit.
“Working with Breckland District Council, I think we have done everything we can to give families the confidence they need to come and visit us. Government guidelines currently don’t allow us to reopen our indoor soft play area but there is still lots for families to see and do.”
Mr Stone, who owns the attraction alongside his parents, is optimistic for the attraction’s future but admits they will need the support of the local community to get the business back on its feet.
He said: “Like lots of places we have lost the income we would normally have generated during the Easter and May half term breaks, which is significant but I am excited to be reopening and looking forward to welcoming people back to the farm.
“I really do hope people come out and back their local tourist attractions over the summer, we really need people’s support and have worked incredibly hard and invested a lot of money in getting ready to reopen.
“It would be great if people opt for a staycation and invest their money locally rather than abroad this year, for businesses like ours that revenue is irreplaceable.
“While we have been shut, we have still had significant overheads to keep our animals healthy and when people visit us they are coming to see a very special collection of animals, we are not just another animal park.
“We are helping to preserve some of the UK’s rarest breeds while giving people an opportunity to come and see them, the animals you will see here aren’t animals you will find anywhere else locally.”
“Businesses like ours have done everything we can and now we really need people to come and back us over the summer.”