AN award-winning visitor attraction has revealed it will temporarily close amid the current coronavirus pandemic – but has cooked up a novel way to keep staff in work.

Cannon Hall Farm, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire revealed on Tuesday that its farm attraction and restaurants would close to try to help meet the government’s wishes on cutting unnecessary contact.

The Farm Shop will remain open and staff have been redeployed to introduce the farm’s first ever home delivery service, where it will be offering everything from a range of extended ready-meal options, to meat and bakery items to order online.

The news was revealed via a live broadcast on the farm’s Facebook page by director Robert Nicholson, whose family opened it to the public in 1989.

He said: “We are trying to do what the experts are wanting us to do to flatten the peak and keep people safe. We are all involved in this.

“We are going to throw all our efforts into the farm shop – people need to eat and we need to provide food for them to eat. 

“We’re going to do local deliveries and we are going to make sure that elderly people who can’t get out are okay. We will literally drop it at their doorstep and run. 

“We are on a bit of a war footing – we want to beat this virus. We just hope we are still here for the end of it but it is so hard for businesses. There’s only so many weeks you can go without income.”

Farmer Robert, David, Roger and the rest of our team will continue to care for all our animals while the Farm is temporarily closed and they still have to lamb more than 450 sheep, which would have been part of the now-cancelled Easter event.

As part of the measures announced tonight, Farmer Robert has also committed to extra broadcasts online.

He added: “I will be all over the broadcasting aspect of it because if we can keep people’s spirits up then we are absolutely going to do that. The mental health issues surrounded by isolation is just as serious.”