Christmas Plea from Bransby Horses 22 Nov
At the moment, the charity is welcoming a fraction of the number of visitors they have done in past years and they assume this is because people think they are closed. Despite the damage, the Visitor Centre, shop and café have been totally unaffected by the flood damage and continue to trade as usual. In fact, the charity has an amazing selection of baubles and Christmas gifts that would normally be flying off the shelves and hot and tasty treats in the café which will go to waste.
Visitor Engagement Manager Holly Hart said “It’s heart breaking to see the visitor centre so empty – normally at this time of year we are busy selling our winter gifts and the café would be full of people, but with visitor numbers so low, we stand to lose even more money from the floods.”
With approximately 1,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the charity’s care (450 based on site and more than 500 in foster homes), the floods have already led to the urgent moving of 100 equines, to dry temporary areas. This is not a long term solution for the charity and the land that has been affected will be unusable for the foreseeable future, due to contamination.
Two weeks after the two valves were closed by The Environment Agency, saving thousands of homes in Lincolnshire from flooding, both valves have been opened, helping some of the charity’s fields be relieved of water temporarily. The effects of the flooding are still being felt by the charity, whose teams are still working hard to keep all equines safe and have drafted in additional help to try and cope with conditions.
Charlie McCelland, Fundraising Manager at Bransby Horses has said:
“It is a shame that we have had to cancel our events and activities, especially as our team have worked so hard organising them, but, we know this is the right decision. Our horses, ponies, donkeys, mules…and people, must always come first and knowing what everyone has been through and continues to go through, there is still a tough road ahead.
“Please visit our website and social media channels to find out more about how to support our mission, so we can continue helping equines who have had a difficult start in life.
“Come and see us too! Our Gift Shop, café and some of our walkways are still open and the teams and animals would love to see visitors. Friendly faces coming in for the day help give us a morale lift during this challenging period. What we face are the worst conditions we’ve had for many years but together, we can get through it and continue to be there for equines in need.”
The charity is planning to move some of their equines to their site in Barlings in the next six weeks, so the land at Bransby can be treated and has time to recover. Their timeline for moving animals and teams to the site was originally the end of 2020, so the charity have been working hard to raise the money needed to have the right infrastructure in place at the site as soon as possible.
Bransby Horses will be holding a community day on 14th December 10am – 2pm at the Sturton by Stow Village Hall, to talk to local people about the impact of the flooding and share information about how people can help. There will also be light refreshments and the chance to see some of the charity’s Gift Shop stock.