Care and conservation: The Bucks Goat Centre
Since 1991, Aylesbury has been home to The Bucks Goat Centre, an open farm that’s become the ideal venue to see, experience and learn about animals first-hand. However, it is the emphasis on love and care at the Centre that took us over on a very sunny Saturday afternoon to check it out.
Located just outside Aylesbury near Stoke Mandeville, The Bucks Goat Centre may seem like any other farm, but it truly isn’t. What makes it different is the way that it takes in animals from all kinds of difficult backgrounds, from retired goats, to a domesticated fox descended from the fur industry, all the way to a duck that was kept in an apartment in a cruel homage to Joey and Chandler from Friends. No matter where they come from, these animals are afforded a second chance of a happier, healthier life under the diligent care of The Bucks Goat Centre staff and volunteers.
There are plenty of animals to see other than goats, including guinea pigs, rabbits, alpacas, pigs and even a miniature horse too. Seeing these animals in such well-kept conditions in a peaceful, countryside setting makes a trip to the Centre a wonderful day out, and making it into a paradise for the animals is what it’s all about for Head Keeper Anthony. It’s almost become a duty of care to look after these animals, and it’s exactly that which makes The Bucks Goat Centre such a wonderful place to visit. Anthony and his volunteers’ continuous desire to improve the lives of the animals under their care is infectious and incredibly inspiring, providing all sorts of enrichment programmes to keep them entertained and active.
This labour of love extends so far that they’ve constructed a tarpaulin-covered space for one poor llama who can’t spend much time out in the sun, and we were even lucky enough to accompany Anthony whilst he took Skid, the goat who has the prestigious role as RAF Halton’s mascot, on a walk around the farm on a lead.
Whether you’re a family of four treating yourselves to a well-earned day out, or a couple looking for a quirky date, The Bucks Goat Centre has plenty to offer. Seeing these animals close-up was a real pleasure, and to see them happy and well-looked after was a perfect way to relax over the weekend.
Opening Times and Admission:
Tuesday – Sunday 10am-4.30pm (plus Mondays in school holidays)
Adult (16 years and over) £5.50
Children (2 -15) £4.50
Children (Under 2) Free