A much-loved family attraction will close its doors for the final time this weekend.
The surprise news that Spring Barn Farm, in Kingston Road near Lewes, was ceasing business came in a Facebook post.
Owners Mike and Louise Possegger issued a statement on the farm’s social media page saying: “Spring Barn Farm Park, Farm Shop and Café opened in the summer of 2002 and, since then, provided local children and their families with fun-filled memories.
“The time has come for us to close our doors.
“Our final weekend will take place on September 15 and 16, and the Sunday will be our final trading day.
“We hope that many of you will come down and enjoy one last visit between now and then to bid us a final farewell.”
Despite questions among the 1,300 Facebook comments in response to the announcement, there has been no confirmation of the reason behind the closure.
A spokesman for Spring Barn Farm said: “We have said all we are going to say, we will not be commenting any further.”
However, they did confirm that the welfare of the animals has always been their priority.
Fans of the farm, which boasts a soft play area, air pillows, and a meet and greet animal barn, left messages of thanks, many tinged with sadness, on social media.
Annie Macdoodle said: “Truly heartbroken. Since having my first child in 2012 Spring Barn has been our favourite place to visit. We’ve had a fab summer visiting regularly. We will miss you Spring Barn.”
Rachael Saulsbury said: “That’s so strange and out of the blue. Such a shame.”
Spring Barn Farm is well known for its Father Christmas grotto and other seasonal activities.
As well as being home to farmyard animals, the attraction has continued to add to the fun in recent years with the introduction of tree top adventures, a zip wire, soft play barn and a go-kart track in recent years.
The venue will be accepting party bookings to take place on or before September 16. Customers who have purchased annual passes can phone 01273 488 450 or email email@example.com to be refunded.
Complimentary passes or gift vouchers will need to be used by September 16.
The farm’s closure statement added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their support over the last 16 years.
“A big thank you also to all of our wonderful team both past and present. We are proud of the outstanding job they have done.”