The sanctuary was founded by Alexandra Bastedo over thirty years ago and she led the Trustees until her death in January 2014. Her first rescue was a donkey and since then the sanctuary has become home to unwanted donkeys, ponies, horses, sheep, goats, cats, pigs and birds.
Animals come to us for a variety of reasons; some have been ill-treated but, in many cases, they are the victims of a change of circumstance such as a relationship break up, death of an owner or lack of money. In some instances, where animals are very old, need permanent special diets, medication or have personality disorders they are guaranteed care and protection at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives, cared for by our wonderful team of volunteers. Wherever possible we do try to home the animals and all prospective owners are home checked and follow up calls are made to ensure the animal is happy.
We visit schools, nursing homes and other organisations to talk about animal welfare and the work at the sanctuary and are happy to accept visits from schools and other groups to teach children and young adults about the importance of properly caring for animals. We also provide practical tuition and hands-on experience for students undertaking animal care courses.
We also welcome the support of a number of companies that have chosen the sanctuary for staff volunteer days.
The Charity and Sanctuary is run by six trustees – Cheryl Tofield-Cook, Maggie Southwell, Gemma Page, Vanessa Campfield, Simon Smoker and Alan Atterbury who are committed to the success of the sanctuary. With the unstinting help of over 80 volunteers of all ages, who care for the animals every day of every week in all weathers and without them, the sanctuary could not operate.
The sanctuary has no secure funding and is entirely reliant on donations from the public to enable the care of the animals. We hold regular events to raise much needed funds and are supported through our animal sponsors and Champions with regular donations.
The trustees will ensure the legacy of animal care and protection, left to us by Alexandra and will continue to grow into the future in accordance with her wishes.