Help Stan keep popular farm going
VOLUNTEERS have answered a call to help an elderly man keep an animal farm in Hillingdon open for members of the public to enjoy.
Stan Atkins, who is in his 80s and used to work as a park keeper, has tended to his farm at Pole Hill Park for 40 years.
It began as a shelter for those moving into high rise accommodation in the borough, who could no longer keep their cats and dogs with them.
Now, Mr Atkins keeps a pig, goats, four ponies, and several bird breeds including chicken and silver pheasants – but he would love to open a peacock enclosure.
Sue Kitt, from Ruislip, currently lends a hand but needs extra helpers with the skills to help build the enclosure.
An appeal on Facebook has so far attracted 101 members to the group Stan’s Friends at Pets’ Corner.
Sue said: “Stan is in his 80s and doubled over.
“He runs the farm single-handedly but was unsuccessful in getting charity status and has no help from the local authority.
“He does get donations but most of the money used to fund the farm comes from his pension.
“He is certainly unable to help me complete the enclosure.
“It has got to the point where I really need people with know-how, muscles, appropriate equipment and the willingness to spend some time helping to get this beast built.”
Some years ago, Stan had a pen housing four peacocks as well as a number of other birds, but vandals got in one night and killed all the birds and left the bodies strewn around the farm.
Sue continued: “I think this must have disheartened Stan and the guy who was helping him out at the time, and the pen got dismantled.”
Despite the adversity, the farm is still enjoyed by visitors and members of the public today.
Sue said: “Stan’s there all day every day.
“The public all come to see it and remember it from their childhood, some people even came from Gloucester to show their kids as it was part of their childhood.” One of the volunteers Stephanie Bayfiord, has set up a Go Fund Me page. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/25dng5w if you would like to offer your support.
If you’d like to offer Stan a helping hand, please contact katherine. email@example.com.
I really need peple with know-how, muscles and the willingness ... to get this beast built”
n WHO IS WILLING AND ABLE: Sue Kitt, who helps at the farm in Pole Hill Park, says some muscle and know-how is needed to rebuild the bird shelter
n STAN’S THE MAN: Farm founder Stan Atkins runs the animal centre himself but is now in his 80s