A CANCER sufferer and his wife were refused entry to a family play farm because of its strict admissions policy.

Marsh Farm has apologised but its safeguarding policy means adults who do not have children with them will not gain entry.

But Diane and Richard Waller, from Leslie Road, Rayleigh, were completely unaware of the controversial policy despite checking details on the farm’s website.

Mrs Waller, 61, wanted to take her husband, who is battling prostate cancer, to see the animals on Sunday as a therapeutic activity after a tough week.

She said: “It should be made so you cannot miss it.

“We were completely unaware of the policy until we were told by the staff at the door and we were really hurt - it ruined our day.

“We thought Marsh Farm would be good because you can just interact with the animals and don’t have to speak to anybody.

“There is nowhere else to do that at this time of year. I think if you’re taking your children somewhere as a parent, you keep an eye on them and you are responsible for safeguarding them - there is no need for Marsh Farm to penalise people without children.

“No other attraction has that kind of policy.”

A spokesman for Marsh Farm, based in South Woodham Ferrers, said it was understood people of all ages enjoy days out. But he went on: “However, we are first and foremost an attraction aimed at primary school aged children, who must be accompanied by an adult. To date, we have advised potential visitors of our no adult-only admission policy on the Tickets and Prices page of our website, and at the entrance.

“However, this example shows us more can be done to better communicate the policy to would-be visitors in advance of them making a trip. We want to apologise to the couple for any disappointment caused.”