Staff at a micropig farm are celebrating after almost 70 animals have found a new home just weeks after facing being “disposed of” in a tenancy dispute.
Olivia Mikhail, owner of Kew Little Pigs, previously based in Stampwell Farm near A40 Oxford Road, said she had been given just three months in November to vacate the farm with 67 pigs, goats and chickens, by Latimer Minster Church of England, which owns the land.
The church claimed Miss Mikhail was not using the land for agricultural purposes as agreed previously, and gave her until February 27 to rehome her animals and business.
Bailiffs then repossessed the farm and given her until March 29, saying they would “dispose of” her things and animals if she did not find them a new home by then.
Miss Mikhail has now moved to a bigger farm in Amersham, signing a five-year lease with Copas Farms, who she has hailed as “professional and absolutely lovely”.
She said: “I am absolutely relieved. It is a huge weight off our shoulders.
“Nothing seemed to happen and then the right place just turned up. I am quite excited now. All the months of doom and gloom and uncertainty – it was just unbearable at the time.”
Miss Mikhail and the Latimer Minster Church of England fell into dispute when her lease expired last June, with the church claiming she had breached the terms of the lease – an accusation she vehemently denied.
She has now moved her animals to Old Amersham Farm, in Old Amersham High Street, and is delighted with the move, saying the pigs are “loving” their new home.
She said: “We almost gave up. I couldn’t cope with the stress. Two months of not having an income was hard.
“At one point we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We are now going to put the whole thing behind us and move forward.
“The plan is to get back on our feet and eventually buy our own piece of land.”
Miss Mikhail also heaped praised on Amersham, saying: “Amersham Old Town is amazing and we want to benefit the area. It is such a lovely, beautiful place.
“I am very happy, very grateful and excited about starting here.”