A PETITION to save Greenmeadow Community Farm from a £200,000 funding cut has collected more than 3,000 signatures in its first three days.

Gavin Davies, who set up the online petition, said the cuts would have a “devastating” effect on the popular attraction, which he said could not continue to operate solely on its profits.

The popular farm currently receives £300,000 in subsidies from Torfaen council, but now the local authority plans to slash that funding by two-thirds.

“There would be a massive impact if the farm went,” Mr Davies said. “It plays a massive part in community life.”

Mr Davies, who serves as chair on the Friends of Greenmeadow Community Farm, said the farm was “more than a tourist attraction” and played an important role in local life which was often overlooked.

He said: “The farm helps vulnerable people and people with disabilities. It also gives work experience to young people who are struggling.

“It helps people in a lot of ways you don’t see.”

He said the council’s plans could mean a reduction in services at the farm, or cause it to close down altogether.

“By closing the farm or making it smaller, it’s going to affect a lot of people,” he added.

A Torfaen council group has suggested several ways in which the farm could continue to operate on the proposed smaller budget, including changes to the farm’s staffing structure, which would save around £48,000.

Council documents said this would “undoubtedly” result in redundancies or redeployment.

Other proposals are to review the catering facility, possibly enabling the provision of “minimal catering facilities” such as vending machines for drinks, and reviewing opening hours of the farm.

Previous plans to reduce the range of animals at the farm have not been recommended for further consideration, though.

Councillors will consider the proposals at a special meeting on Thursday.

Mr Davies is a teacher at Llantarnam Primary School, and said his pupils enjoyed regular visits to Greenmeadow Community Farm – as did children from other schools.

He said the farm was also a popular place for parents to take their children, and he often took his family there.

On the petition’s early success, Mr Davies said: “We’ve collected 3,000 signatures so far. I think that’s really good but it could do a lot more.

“I hope the [upcoming] meeting will focus on what we can do as a community to help the farm survive.”

The Friends of the Greenmeadow Community Farm group will host a public meeting at the farm on Thursday, March 28, at 7.30pm.

They can be found on Facebook and can be contacted at: friendsofgcf@gmail.com