Gorgie farm welcomes the Dalry llama

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

Published
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe public will be able to walk llamas at Love Gorgie Farm when it opens later to the public

Llamas, giant rabbits and reindeer are to feature at the new farm which is opening later on the Edinburgh site of the liquidated Gorgie City Farm.

Love Gorgie Farm, which is in Gorgie but runs along the border with Dalry, will have lambs the public can bottle feed at Easter and Christmas reindeer.

The tiny pig pens are to be demolished with three pigs given a larger grass area to roam and the rest rehomed.

The £100,000 donated by the public will be spent on the cafe and play park.

Five of the original 18 staff who lost their jobs when the farm went into liquidation in November have been rehired with the owners saying the rest had found new employment before the announcement that Love Learning had taken over the site.

The public will be able to walk four 18-month-old llamas and see new residents such as a Highland calf, budgies and love birds.

A new education hub at the site with courses and qualifications in leadership and management, animal handling and husbandry, first aid and health and safety will fund the farm, which costs £1,450 a day to run.

image copyrightThe Scotsman Publications
image captionLynn Bell, CEO of Love Learning said the farm was a hidden gem in Gorgie

The centre in Gorgie, which is run by Love Learning, will not be a working farm as no animals will be killed for produce as was done previously.

Lynn Bell, CEO of Love Learning, said anyone who wanted to volunteer including people with vulnerable additional support needs could contact her to work at the farm.

She told BBC Scotland: "This is the hidden gem of Gorgie and I want to have it accessible to all so there will be no fee. However, it has gone into liquidation twice so we need to make sure we raise enough money so it doesn't happen again.

"We will have an education centre and events in our boardrooms.

"I also have a meeting with builders to demolish the pig pens and to look at what we can have there instead, such as a paddock.

"We are going to have a different animal every month at the farm which will reflect the time of year, so for example lambs and chicks at Easter and reindeer at Christmas.

"The public have asked us to upgrade our cafe and playpark so we will use the £100,000 fundraising pot for that."

It is opening two months earlier than planned. The farm, which has no entrance fee, will open at 11:00.

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