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Volunteers Wanted

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Longford Park’s Pets’ Corner Emergency Fund

Closing date 21st June 2015 so please your support at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/pets-corner-emergency-fund/

Longford Park Pets’ Corner urgently needs funds to upgrade our security for the animals and also for ongoing costs, vet fees, etc. Following a recent unfortunate incident at Pets’ Corner, we have decided to invest in security measures. Also, Gandalf the goat now has a new friend (Frodo) and we wish to raise enough money for vets’ bills and improving the pets’ environment for at least the next 12 months.

Since we took it over from the Council in October 2014, all of the work has been done by volunteers, and they have had to contribute their own money to keep Pets’ Corner going. We now have goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

We know that the local community of Stretford, Chorlton, and surrounding areas want us to stay open, and we want to keep animals there and to make sure that they are safe. So many people have told us that they remember coming to this area as children, and that they now bring their children to Pets’ Corner to see the animals. We want to have a collection of happy, well-fed and SAFE animals, of which the local community can be proud.

Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LongfordParkPetsCorner

Cafe workers save Longford Park’s pets corner

As reported by Amy Glendinning on the April 21st 2014 (View the Article).

A pets’ corner threatened with closure due to council cuts is to be saved - and run as an urban farm.

Members of the Uprising Bakery co-operative, who run Longford Park’s cafe, are to take over the space currently home to over 100 birds and rabbits.

They plan to raise goats, chickens and geese there - as well as growing fruit and veg.

The group, who took over the cafe from Trafford Council last year, are due to sign a contract with the council in a few weeks’ time and should get the keys by the end of April.

And after appealing for volunteers to help look after the animals last week, over 50 people have already signed up - with training due to start in May.

Members of Uprising Bakery, who bake and sell artisan breads, stepped in when the council announced it could no longer afford to keep it running.

Under the plans, the hundred odd budgerigars and parrots currently living there will be re-homed, with the aviary torn down.

The space will then be used to keep goats plus ducks and chickens, whose eggs will be on sale.

Dozens of rabbits, chickens and parrots could be made homeless as part of town hall cuts.

Fruit and vegetables including gourmet cooking ingredients will be grown there along with proposals for gardening classes and pick-your-own fruit beds.

Janey Riley, a member of the nine-strong Uprising Bakery co-operative, said: “Because we’re based in the park the general public are really important to us, it’s about the experience people have when they are here.

“When we heard the pets’ corner was to close we didn’t want to see it go and I think people who use the park looked to us to do something.

“Two of our members are already growing on land outside Manchester and another is a horticulturalist, so they are passionate about urban growing and we can use those skills.

“I don’t think pets’ corner is particularly educational for older children so we want to run something more interactive with feeding times for the animals where they can get involved.”

A Trafford Council spokeswoman confirmed they were in negotiations with a community group but would not say who, adding in a statement: “We are currently in meaningful dicussions with community groups to develop a way forward for facilities at Longford Park.”

Removal of funding and possible closure of Pets Corner

Please sign the petition to Save Pets Corner

The impact of 2014-15 Trafford Council’s budget proposals may mean the closure of Longford Park’s Pets Corner. Trafford Council ‘seek alternative support/cease council support of Pets corners in Longford Park‘.

Sue from the Friends of Longford Park is looking to find volunteers to help in Pets Corner. If anybody is interested they can email longford.petscorner@yahoo.co.uk or ring 01618657169. She is hoping to arrange a meeting this coming week as the site is due to close at the end of the month.

Call for volunteers to help save pets’ corner in Longford Park

As reported in the Stretford and Urmston Messenger 15th March 2014 by Kate Banks (View the Article)

FANS of Pets’ Corner in Longford Park are appealing for volunteers to help run it following the council’s decision to withdraw funding.

Trafford Council is currently responsible for the pets’ corners in Longford Park and John Leigh Park, in Altrincham, but will cease to be from April, following executive members’ approval for a package of budget cuts on February 19.

A spokesman for the council said the move is necessary to meet the projected £17m budget deficit facing the council this year, but is in talks with the Friends of Longford Park group and Uprising Cafe to establish an alternative model.

n fact Janey Riley, who is one of the directors of Uprising, hopes the cafe can take over the management of the pet’s corner under a service licence agreement and thinks the attraction can be better than ever.

Janey said the cafe already makes preservatives, brews beer and teaches people to bake bread, but hopes to extend micro-food production by introducing laying hens and goats which can produce milk – which can then be used in the cafe.

While the cafe would manage the pets corner, volunteers are needed to help look after the animals and many people have already expressed an interest.
People wanting to volunteer should email Sue Simpkins on longford.petscorner@yahoo.co.uk.

Sue said: “The more people who volunteer the better it will be as then people will have to give up less of their time.”

Council leader, Cllr Sean Anstee, said: “It is pleasing to see that an agreement appears close to being reached to allow the facility to remain open for the community to use and I am grateful to all those involved to date.

“The scale of the financial challenge we face is unprecedented, but Trafford and its communities continue to show resilience to it as we seek to collectively work together to maintain facilities for all to use.”

Longford councillor, Anne Duffield, said: “We are now more hopeful that pets’ corner can remain in Longford Park and that local people will come forward to volunteer.

“Negotiations are on-going with Trafford Council about the level of funding that will be available to support this.”

Pets Corner

Horace the Goat 1996-2010

On the 23rd May a vet inspected Horace and came to the conclusion that the goat was in a lot of pain and that the most appropriate and humane course of action was to have it put down. Horace was a well loved feature of the park and he will be missed by many of the park users.
A comment from a local resident:
Absolutely gutted at the sad news. Had many an eventful time trying to walk Horace around the park, and I must say, very satisfying when we actually made it round! We are upset but understand that Horace is now at peace and without pain. God Bless.
Our thoughts are now with Chris who has looked after Horace for many, many years and did an absolutely wonderful job, as he does every day.

Janet & Family

Longford Park is home to the very popular Pet’s Corner. Here you will find hundreds of birds ranging from the exotic Kakariki from New Zealand to native geese and ducks. There are also dozens of rabbits as well as Horace the Goat.

Horace the Goat is currently the star attraction at Pet’s Corner. Horace is now over 12 years old, which is quite old for a goat, and is not so keen on his strolls around the park as he used to be. He is also a bit more elusive these days and evades the hordes of photographers by hanging out in his goat shed.

Only kidding…

Interesting facts about Horace

  • He is believed to be from the Welsh Mountain goat breed
  • He was donated to the Park several years ago by a couple from Sale that were finding young Horace quite a handful!
  • Horace’s favourite food is Sweet Meadow Muesli! The dedicated staff looking after Horace provide him with a high quality muesli specially formulated for the needs of goats. This muesli contains cereals, vegetable proteins and the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep Horace healthy.
  • As part of the ‘Respect the Park’ event a mosiac was painted that included Horace. This mosiac can be found in the sheltered area of the ornamental gardens.

This information was kindly provided by the helpful and dedicated staff that look after all the animals in Pets Corner

In previous years the main attraction was Bruce the Budgie. According to the Manchester Evening News in March 2003:-

A BOLD budgie has decided flying is too much like hard work and has taken to riding around on the back of one of this feathered friends. Bruce the budgie has developed a talent for taming birds twice his size and using them as his own personal transport rather than having to flap his feathers to get from A to B.

The two-year-old developed his skill after owner Linda Moreno handed him over to her local aviary, Longford Park in Stretford, when his cage companion, Eddie, died and he pined for company. Linda said: When Eddie died, Bruce was heart-broken, he was pining for him so I thought he would really need some company and decided the aviary in pets corner in Longford park was the best place for him.

“He looked so sad sat in his cage on his own. I put him in the aviary nine months ago and since then he’s become the main attraction in pet’s corner because he rides around on the back of a quail. He doesn’t really have anything to do with the other budgies, maybe because he’s so traumatised about Eddie’s death. He gathers food for the quails and then hops on their back and rides around.

Animal keeper at Longford Park pet’s corner Chris Boardman said: Bruce chases the quails round and then hops on their back. The children think it’s absolutely hilarious, they just can’t believe it. He added: There’s now a white budgie who’s beginning to copy Bruce. It’s very unusual for a budgie to do something like this. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

More tails from Pets Corner coming soon…