Palacerigg animals have been rehomed

One of the new owners arrives to take away some of the Palacerigg animals
One of the new owners arrives to take away some of the Palacerigg animals

The animal collection at Palacerigg Country Park has now been closed as the last of the animals have been rehomed.

Campaigners against removing the animals, which will save North Lanarkshire Council £69,000 over the next two years, believed they had a glimmer of hope when they were told a community-run animal park may be considered.

However it quickly became apparent to members of the Save The Animal Park at Palacerigg Country Park page on Facebook that this would not mean saving the current collection and would just be one potential item to be looked at for the park masterplan currently being drawn up.

Nicole Paterson, the council’s head of Environmental Assets, told them: “We have not received any proposals from the community to run an animal collection as a community owned asset, but if such a proposal was to come forward as part of the consultation we would be open to investigating whether this was a viable option.

“However it is likely this would take some time to set up and would most sensibly grow slowly with the capacity and ability of any group.

“The masterplan consultation will allow us to gain a consensus for the park going forward and give us a clear focus for investment in new facilities in the park.”

At the start of the Easter holidays the animal’s new owners started arriving to collect them, with the bagot goats being the last to leave yesterday (Wednesday).

Margaret Moiyes led the campaign against the removal of the animals, which included hundreds of people engaging in a peaceful protest last month.

She said: “What’s the point of starting a new collection when there was already one in place?

“The statement saying the proposal of a community run asset could be considered as part of the consultation was thrown in to put people off the trail of what was really going on.

“It was to make us believe they really do care and want to listen, but I think we’d now be delusional to believe they’d actually consider this.

“The heart of our animal park has, after all these years, finally been ripped out without even granting a consultation as requested before it took place.

“They are showing this town and the people in it that their voices and request to retain the animal park mean nothing to them!”

The council now plans to use the land for a new outdoor play area.