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Popular animal farm set for reopening

Shetland ponies in a field in Graves Park

One of Sheffield’s most popular free family attractions, Graves Park Animal Farm, is set to reopen on Monday 27 July. 

Opening just in time for the school summer holidays, families across the city can start planning their visit with a new booking system, allowing up to 50 people to visit during 45 minute sessions, between 10am-4pm, 7 days per week.

Safety measures have been introduced to keep staff and visitors safe, including limiting the number of visitors, use of hand washing and sanitising stations, cleaning after every session and reduced activities available.

Entry will still be completely free to visitors.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’ve been working really hard to reopen facilities within our parks and I’m delighted that we can allow visitors to return to our fantastic animal farm.

“We’re confident that the measures we have put in place are manageable and will allow families to enjoy a fun and educational experience, just in time for the school summer holidays.

“We’re proud that even with all these extra measures in place we can still offer this wonderful attraction for free. Donations, no matter how much, contribute to the running of the farm and the welfare of our animals, so if visitors can spare a small amount this makes a huge difference.

“Our booking system is now live and we expect demand will be high. I would encourage families to start planning early to avoid disappointment and hope you all have lots of fun.”

Jack Tankard, aka Farmer Jack, has kept people entertained throughout lockdown sharing his animal adventures through Facebook Live. Along with his furry friends, he also stars in the farm’s welcome back video explaining what to expect when you visit.

Jack said: “We’ve been really busy looking after the animals and maintaining the farm throughout lockdown. We wanted to stay connected to all our families across the city and we’ve been overwhelmed with how popular the virtual tours have been.

“Now we can’t wait to welcome everyone back – we’ve missed having people around and so have all the animals. They’re so used to seeing all the children so it’s been as weird for them as it has for us.

“I’m also really excited about our new sponsor packages that will raise important funds for the farm and our animals, and give kids in Sheffield their own little piece of life on the farm.

“We’ve got everything in place to keep everyone safe, so get booking on and we’ll see you all soon.”

Pickle, Chutney & Relish can't wait to see visitors to the farm again

No more than 50 people can visit the farm per hour. Hand washing facilities in the barn must be used before and after each visit, and sanitising stations are located around the farm for people to use.

Visitors must bring proof of booking and are asked to arrive 10 minutes early to listen to a safety briefing before entering the farm.

During the 15 minute change over period farmers will disinfect common touching points and make sure everything is clean before next group is allowed in.

No toilets are available in the farm but the nearest public toilets are located just 200m from the farm at the Rose Garden Café. The farm shop will be closed.

Time around popular animals, such as the Shire horse & ponies, may be limited to 10 minutes so that everyone can meet them in the 45 minute slot.

Animal petting is permitted but the sanitiser stations around the farm must be used before and after. Guinea pig handling sessions will not available at this stage.

Visitors George & Eli give Lottie a stroke

Food and drink should be consumed outside of the farm in the park area.

Children can use the famous red tractor but parents must make sure hands are sanitised before and after use. The tractor will be wiped down every hour between visitor groups. The go-karts will not be available at this stage.

Some building work is ongoing to upgrade the toilet and welfare facilities so it may be noisy in the first few weeks.

Tickets are free but reservations must be made. One person can book up to 5 tickets at a time.

40 online tickets will be available for each session, 7 days per week, with 10 reserved for on the day for those booking without internet access. Sessions will run at:

    • 10.00-10.45


    • 11.00-11.45


    • 13.00-13.45


    • 14.00-14.45


    • 15.00-15.45

Book your tickets at

Graves Park Animal Farm is also launching brand new sponsorship packages for children to get up close and personal with their chosen animal. A short video explains the sponsorship packages.

There are 2 packages available, the Best friend for £25 or the Buddy for £15. Families can choose to sponsor Lottie the shire horse, Twinkle and Sprinkle the Shetland ponies, Daphne and Delilah the pygmy goats, Pickle, Chutney and Relish the Keune Keune pigs or Lilly the sheep.

Best Friends will get

    • Certificate of sponsorship


    • Fact sheet on their chosen animal


    • 4 newsletters throughout the year


    • Voucher for a “meet and greet” with their chosen animal (1 hour session for up to 10 people to meet and learn about their animal, and ask any questions they have led by one of our farmers)

Buddies will get

    • Certificate of sponsorship


    • Fact sheet on their chosen animal


    • 4 newsletters throughout the year

[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Graves-Animal-Farm-sponsor-vid.mp4"][/video]

To sponsor an animal or make a general donation contact visit the online payment site. In the comment box you’ll need to give your email address, the name of the animal you would like to sponsor and if your donation is on behalf of someone else, write their name in the comment box as well.

Follow Graves Park Animal Farm on Facebook for all the latest updates and plenty of entertaining animal adventures.