Hillside Animal Sanctuary appeals for straw after mild December

Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Picture: SUBMITTED

Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Although many enjoyed last month's milder weather, for some it brought with it a fresh challenge.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary's flooded field. Picture: SUBMITTED

Hillside Animal Sanctuary's flooded field. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Now organisers behind Hillside Animal Sanctuary, in Frettenham, are appealing for donations to help towards its Straw Appeal.

Founder Wendy Valentine explained why it was vital to keep a good supply.

'With so many animals living at the sanctuary, we are used to dealing with prevailing wet wintry conditions,' she said. 'But the aftermath of the wettest December since records began has left our staff struggling to deal with the worst conditions we have experienced in 20 years of Hillside – and most of the winter is still ahead of us.'

In addition to providing massive straw beds for the animals, hundreds of extra large bales were ordered to build straw walls to give the animals added protection from the winter weather.

'After the extreme rainfall of the last few weeks, our usual straw stocks have been exhausted and we are now using several tonnes of extra straw every day to keep the animals comfortable,' added Ms Valentine.

'Straw is vital to combat the horrendous conditions we are currently facing and it is critical that we are able to maintain our supply.' She urged people to make small donations to help buy more straw and also welcomed donations of straw itself.

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The team have also invested in a straw spreader to top up the horses' beds daily to keep them comfortable.

The spreader quickly and efficiently distributes one large bale of straw at a time, which cost around £10 each, saving funds and staff time.

To donate to Hillside's Straw Appeal, you can ring 01603 736200 (between 9am and 9pm every day) or post a cheque to Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Hill Top Farm, Hall Lane, Frettenham, Norwich NR12 7LT.

About Hillside

• Hillside Animal Sanctuary was founded in 1995 by Wendy Valentine

• It was created with the aim to help and campaign for animals in need and to bring public awareness to animals suffering

• There are around 2,000 animals at the sanctuary, including 1,300 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys, 300 rescued cows, 600 sheep and goats, 200 pigs, deer and lots of other rescued animals

• Most of the animals there have been rescued from the farming industry

• Ms Valentine formed Hillside Animal Sanctuary after witnessing the plight of the battery hen

• In 2015, Hillside Animal Sanctuary celebrated 20 years of helping and campaigning for animals in need

• You can find out more about Hillside Animal Sanctuary by visiting its YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/HillsideAdoptAnimals or website at www.hillside.org.uk.

Are you doing something amazing for charity? Email reporter Donna-Louise Bishop or ring 01603 772568.