Norfolk horse sanctuary targeted by thieves

PUBLISHED: 11:33 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:48 20 January 2014

Redwings donkey ,

Redwings donkey ,

Archant © 2012

Thieves have stolen a small tractor and an all-terrain vehicle from a horse sanctuary near Great Yarmouth.

It happened at Caldecott Visitor Centre, at Redwings Caldecott in Fritton, in the early hours of last Wednesday.

The vehicles, a Massey Ferguson compact tractor and a John Deere gator, were stored in a barn near the donkey facility, which houses more than 30 donkeys and mules.

The centre’s night security team estimates the vehicles were removed between 1.30am and 5am Wednesday, January 15.

Thieves broke through a perimeter line of wooden post and rail fencing to remove the equipment, which was worth more than £6,000.

Redwings Caldecott, which is currently closed to the public until the end of March, is home to 114 of the national group’s 1,300 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

Lynn Cutress, chief executive of Redwings, said: “We can’t believe anyone would do this.

“They destroyed a line of our fencing in the process and if we hadn’t fitted a second line around the field to protect the donkeys they could have been in serious danger on the nearby road.

“Those vehicles were quite old, but they were vital to help the team who care for our special rescued residents – with so many horses to care for on the site it has to run like a small farm.

“The tractor and gator were used for all kinds of tasks, from checking and feeding the horses, to clearing the fields of muck and preparing the land.

“They may have been old but they were really valuable to us.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call PC Sally Anderson at Norfolk Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting crime reference number CR2352/1414.

The sanctuary relies on public donations to fund its work including equipment.

Just £6 could replace a metre of the destroyed fencing.

To help keep horses safe from harm text HORS30 £6 to 70070, or call the sanctuary on 01508 481000 to donate.

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