AN East Dorset ‘adventure farm’ will close after a new lease cannot be agreed with the owners.

Honeybrook Farm, in Wimborne, will close on October 18, with the lease ending on October 31, and the manager said he is “hurting” at the news.

Announcing the news on Facebook, manager Chris Bullen said: “We simply just can’t agree new terms with the owners, so our time here will be ending.

“We have not gone into liquidation, all our bills have been paid, we just cannot agree new terms.

“We will be closing to the public on October 18 to allow us to clear the site and to rehome all of our animal stock.

“We’d like to thank the Glyn family for allowing us to occupy the farm for the last few years.

“This will be a very sad happening and it’s the worst possible news. The staff have all been told.”

Mr Bullen said, for no extra fee, people who had paid for the visit to Santa’s grotto due to take place over Christmas at the farm, will be able to upgrade to the ‘Santa to you’ service, where deliveries will be made with presents and ‘goody bags’.

He continued: “The last thing to say is on a personal basis, a very big thank you to all of our staff past and present.

“To our visitors, our supporters, and all of which have become our friends.

“Finally, to the Glyn family for allowing us the use of their farm, it has been all brilliant.”

Three hours after announcing the news, Mr Bullen came back to say how he was “hurting” at having to close and that he was “overwhelmed” at the support he received.

He said: “I can’t say anything other than wow and thank you.

“It’s hurting, we are in shock, but people have been amazing.

“The good news is we have loads of time to get this sorted. Once we leave, we will be focussing entirely on Christmas.

“The animals have all got new homes, the have all been rehomed.

“They were rehomed before people even knew the bad news.”

Mr Bullen confirmed everyone entitled to a refund for Santa’s grotto should have received an email.