A couple will bid farewell to their beloved farm shop of 34 years as they blamed the pandemic, health issues and the loss of staff for the closure.

Andy and Jane Bowler said it was with “a heavy heart” that they will open Dews Meadow Farm Shop in East Hanney for a final time on Saturday (November 4).

The husband and wife, 74 and 71 respectively, have taken the decision before Christmas as they felt they could not meet customer demands over the festive period.

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“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved,” said Mrs Bowler.

thisisoxfordshire: Andy and Jane Bowler are saying goodbye to Dews Meadow Farm Shop in East Hanney after 34 years

“Most people would have stopped a long time ago.

"We’ve had people coming in and ringing up and leaving cards and chocolate since we announced we were closing.”

The couple started running a small farm in the 1970s after Mrs Bowler, a farmer’s daughter who grew up on a dairy farm, married Mr Bowler, who is also from a farm working background.

From the late 1980s, they started selling handmade sausage rolls, pork pies and their award-winning dry-cured unsmoked bacon from the farm shop.

They were active on the farmers market scene and brought in home deliveries in 2010 when they clocked their customer base was getting older.

The deliveries helped the shop survive the Covid lockdown but trade still dropped off.

However, the departure of their two butchers last month left the business in a difficult spot.

“It’s a decision that’s been made for us,” said Mrs Bowler.

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thisisoxfordshire: Dews Meadow Farm Shop has been run for 34 years

“It was a shame they chose to go elsewhere at such a critical time because it didn’t give us time to make other arrangements.

“We have over 500 customers at Christmas, and we just couldn’t do it without butchers.”

While the farm shop will no longer be open, they will still run their farm in Charney Bassett.

Mrs Bowler said: “With some of our regular customers having shopped with us right from the very beginning- over 30 years ago, this is not a decision that has been taken lightly.

“With so many unexpected changes happening in such quick succession over the past few weeks, we wanted to announce the news as soon as possible to ensure that we gave our customers enough notice to be able to make alternative arrangements for their Christmas planning.”

“As you may or may not have seen in the media over the past few years, it hasn’t been easy for small, independent farms and businesses to survive.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us.”