Storm Eunice Update
It’s hard to believe now, but Storm Eunice hit the Sanctuary in February of this year. Following on from the devastation it heralded, we had various contractors and volunteers in attempting to fix the extensive damage. Our main concern was the broken fencing and the damaged shelters, as both of these have direct impact upon the animals’ welfare.
Following the storm, we had to move many of our horses into different fields and paddocks due to damaged and unsafe fencing that was not secure for them to stay in. Many of these paddocks we either save for summer months or are not suitable to hold horses long term and so the fencing needed to become a priority.
Additionally, a large volunteer group party came up one Sunday and proceeded to clear a lot of the damaged structures, fencing and debris, leaving big pieces in situ with the hope that they can be rebuilt where they laid. We were very grateful for the help they provided.
Over the course of the next 2 weeks, we had a fencing contractor team in to repair the broken sections of fencing, which was done swiftly and efficiently, and all the fencing is now completed.
Simultaneously we had a roofing company in to repair a skylight in the main building, tiles that had come down, an exterior floodlight that had been severely bent, roofing slates that had come off one of our buildings, and also the main electricity cable loom that had been pulled off that same building.
Work is now starting on repairing and rebuilding the shelters. The one that was in the best shape has already been completed by our handyman volunteer Jon. A new roof is being put on top of the shelter at the back of our barn from which the felting was ripped off and timber roof structures damaged, and which is now being replaced by a tin roof. Then there are still lots of smaller jobs that will require work in the next phase! Although the storm may have only lasted a short time, it has certainly left a lasting legacy on the Sanctuary.
We would like to thank everyone that has donated towards this appeal so far, and those many people who have helped physically at the Sanctuary and have allowed for this work to be completed and continue. Without your donations we would struggle to finance such a large-scale restoration and we are extremely grateful. That said there is a huge deficit in the costs and still more to do so, if you haven’t yet contributed to our appeal, we would be most grateful if you could. You can do so via the link here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/rebuild-remus-after-eunice.
Buy a Bale of Hay to Support Charity
In late March, Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary was told to close the horse welfare charity and stop all fundraising – one of her worst nightmares! As a result, the ‘Buy a Bale of Hay’ appeal has been set up online to help raise funds to continue to care for and feed the animals at the Sanctuary.
£5 will help us buy one bale of hay, £10 will help buy two bales of hay, £15 will help the charity buy three bales of hay, whilst £20 will ensure one animal receives hay every day for a week. As one can imagine, the volume of food required to feed the charity’s 200+ animals is by far its biggest expense and challenge.
Ms Burton commented: “Thankfully our animals, for the most part, remain oblivious to everything going on around them. But we have been reliant on a handful of people to look after everything – and believe me, its hard work! Fundraising and events are crucial to our survival and there have been many days when I’ve wondered if we would even see it through to the autumn!”
After the winter months the charity is always desperate for its fundraising and events to start, to bring in much needed funds to feed the animals and pay the bills that have been mounting up over the winter period. The heatwave in spring meant that the normal grass supplies in the paddock were sparse, whilst the subsequent downpours have flooded the fields.
Due to the very stringent and necessary requirements about re-opening from the Government, Local Authority and National Farm Attractions Network, it is the charity’s intention to host a further virtual Open Day on Sunday 2 August but to welcome the public and host a live event again on Sunday 6 September – the first one this year.
Ms Burton said, “We have thought long and hard about opening to the public and we are very mindful that if we do we have to keep ourselves safe – if we go down with the virus then the animals wont be cared for. Also, a lot of our stall holders and volunteers are older, so we need to keep them as safe as possible and, of course, its very important that we keep our supporters safe too.
“It is important to us that we follow the guidelines and do things to the letter, so we will be making some changes to the way that the Open Days are run during September and October.”
To find out more about the appeal and to donate, please visit the JustGiving website here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/buyabaleofhay.
For further information, visit www.remussanctuary.org or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.
And the animals went in two by two…
And the animals went in two by two… alongside is Amber and Blossom slowly making their way to shelter following the horrific flooding experienced at the Sanctuary recently.
For those unfamiliar with the Sanctuary, there are no lakes within the grounds (or at least not normally!).
On Thursday 23 June, all three roads into Buttsbury were flooded and the road direct to the Sanctuary was 5ft deep! Our muck heap collector lorry got stuck in it! The staff all had to walk across fields to get in. The cows shelter was under water and the cows and some of the ponies needed to be moved to the back fields for safety. One of our volunteers was up to his chest in the flood water on the road and nearly floated away!
Five days on and the road into us was still flooded and the water on the fields lasted for a further three days. In addition to our own problems, a large fish was left flapping in a field and was rescued and returned to the river by Charlotte, and Alex, whilst taking one of the horses out heard screaming and rescued a woman who had fallen into the ford!
This is an extreme situation. Once again we will have to cancel the Open Day, now for the third time in a row. The last time we saw it this bad was in 2012. We are so proud of our staff who walk in and out before and after work and continue to care for the animals and still smile.
We need to get ourselves back on our feet and we can only do that with your help. Please contribute to our Cry For Help Appeal today! We will also be holding a Summer Sale at Stock Village Hall on Saturday 2nd to help raise funds following the floods and cancellations. Full details here. If you can’t donate, please visit us on Saturday and vice versa!