Thousands of people across Bucks have backed a campaign fighting the closure of a farm-based employment service which offers work to adults with learning disabilities.

The petition launched by the Save Thrift Farm action group was presented to Bucks County Council (BCC) on Thursday after it accumulated 6,789 signatures.

In January, BCC announced proposal to potentially close Thrift Farm in Whaddon as part of plans to slash £2.47 million from adult social care budgets.

A consultation into the future of the farm will continue until April – while BCC attempts to find an alternative provider to run the site.

Councillor for Winslow, John Chilver, said: “As local member for Thrift Farm I would like to present a petition from the Save Thrift Farm campaign group.

“Thrift Farm is a supported rural employment service for adults with learning difficulties and a local family visitor attraction.

“It is greatly valued by clients, their families and carers as well as the visiting public.

“We hope that a way will be found for the service to carry on in a viable and sustainable way. This online petition has 6,789 signatures to date.”

Writing on the online Save Thrift Farm web page, campaigner Nicola Lake slammed the “heartbreaking” plans and urged anyone who has been involved with the farm to back the petition.

She said: “How dare Bucks even think they can make such decisions or even consider them without understanding our young people, without meeting face to face.

“I am asking that everyone who has ever had a positive experience at Thrift, or the families of those with additional needs, or just anyone who has the compassion to help others, to please sign this petition.”

Signing the petition, Janie Oliver said: “I have two disabled daughters that use this facility and greatly benefit form its service.

“To close this place would be a tragedy and a huge loss to a community of people who struggle to find another lace in our world. Please think again.”

Rhoda Thurston added: “The precious people with special needs that work there will be devastated.

“These people feel important doing what they are doing. Why take it away from them?”

To view BCC’s consultation visit: