EXCLUSIVE: Failed trout farm owners have 6,000 fish to give away before next Wednesday

PUBLISHED: 16:48 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:05 16 June 2010

AARON Hopkins with some of the rianbow trout he is being forced to give away.

AARON Hopkins with some of the rianbow trout he is being forced to give away.

AN East Devon trout farm, which has crashed in the recession, is giving away 6,000 fish to anyone who will take them before next Wednesday.

AN East Devon trout farm, which has crashed in the recession, is giving away 6,000 fish to anyone who will take them before next Wednesday.

Rockmill Trout Farm, at Membury, near Axminster, is closing at the end of Tuesday after failing to make a profit.

The leased farm is being handed back to its owners on Wednesday and its lake filled in.

Heartbroken business owners Aaron and Naomi Hopkins, both 29, who opened the business a year ago, say they would rather give the rainbow trout away than have to bury them.

"We've tried our best to make it work, but we have lost everything," said Naomi.

"People just aren't buying trout during the recession. We have tried every supplier we can think of, but nobody wants them."

She added: "We've got beautifully farmed trout - all weighing 10 to 12 ounces. My husband will be here on Saturday, Sunday and Monday all day, giving the fish away.

"People can have them for free or give a donation.

"We don't care who has them - even restaurant owners are welcome."

Mr Hopkins, who has reared trout for most of his life, realised a dream when he opened Rockmill Trout Farm last year. He and his wife are devastated by the loss of their business.

All the fish have to be removed from the lake before Wednesday morning.

For directions to Rockmill Trout Farm, call (01297) 639960.


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