The Miniature Pony Centre near Moretonhampstead has announced that it has closed permanently following a few turbulent years.

On its Facebook page, the centre, in Dartmoor National Park, said that covid and the post covid seasons had proved problematic for the business.

The general manager said in a message: 'It is with the greatest regret I must inform you that the Miniature Pony Centre will be permanently closing its doors. Following a turbulent few years, covid and post-covid seasons have proved problematic.

'In 2019, we announced our closure, but by the skin of our teeth, we managed "last minute" to reopen our doors because we wanted to dig deep and give another season a try.

'We invested all our time, money and efforts to improve the business, which worked by all accounts as we survived covid

'By the end of 2022, the nation went into a cost-of-living crisis. Unfortunately, this was noticeable during our Christmas festival season when our ticket sales were highly affected, and our takings were down.

'With 2023 looking no better, costs rising at an alarming rate and days out with the family becoming a luxury that people cannot afford, it is with great sorrow that we have no choice but to shut our doors forever.

'Our main priority has always been that the animals are happy and healthy. We will ensure that all the animals go to the best, most loving homes.

'We have treasured welcoming our customers into the centre for many years. We have loved seeing all those cherished moments between you and our beautiful animals. So we would like to give you and your family one last chance to come and say goodbye this February half term.

'We will open for one special week from Saturday February 11th to Sunday February 18. Our most popular activities will be running, and we would love to see as many of you as possible.

'We will contact you directly over the coming weeks if you have a valid season ticket with us.

'Wormhill farm, known to many as the Miniature Pony Centre, is not just a business but a family. The staff and I have been deeply affected by this devasting decision. So many of our team have worked alongside our gorgeous ponies and donkeys for years, and we have created a safe haven for them and our customers.

'I am incredibly proud of our business and its reputation; we couldn't have done it without you. We hope to see you all in the February half-term for a final goodbye. '