Hoo Farm forced to abandon annual Christmas event

Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom has announced that their Christmas event will not be operating this year.

Carolyn and Will Dorrell with Whisper the donkey
Carolyn and Will Dorrell with Whisper the donkey

In response to the update from the Government over the weekend, the family-run zoo has been forced to abandon its annual celebration. 

Shropshire’s only zoo has been running a Christmas event for 30 years and 2020 will only be the second time in the operation’s history it has had to forego the Christmas offering.

“In 1996, we could not open for Christmas because of the ‘Mad Cow’s’ crisis. It was a real blow to our business that year” recalls Edward Dorrell co-founder of Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom. Along with his wife and business partner Carolyn, they pivoted the business following the crisis and recovered over the following 2 years”. 

Their son Will now run’s the business and when asked how this year’s closure will affect the operation, he said: “It’s a key time of year at Hoo Farm – and it is one of our favourite’s. Along with the festive fun we also sell Christmas Trees, which sadly this year we will not be able to do either. Until the Government’s announcement on Saturday we had planned Christmas-as-usual.

“We’ve adapted the entire operation to make it COVID-secure and have devised stringent safety measures that adhere to Government guidelines and regulations, but the news on the weekend has left us facing a real possibility that we would have to cancel our Christmas event if the lockdown is extended. We just couldn’t take that risk as the investment is too high now.”

Hoo Farm normally imports over 500 Norway Spruce and Nordman Fir Christmas trees and would need to place their order this week, leaving them regretfully with little choice but to cancel the Christmas event this year. 

“It has been a difficult decision to make. We know how much people love Christmas at Hoo so we’re already planning something virtual and a new 2020 event. Watch this space!” said Will.

Shropshire Live
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