On Tuesday 7th January 2020, equine rescue and welfare charity, Bransby Horses, is moving 42 equines from their Bransby site to their site at Langworth as part of their Emergency Flood Crisis Campaign. The 800-acre site at Langworth was bought by the charity in 2018, to safeguard the charity’s future and was intended to be used in coming years. However, when severe flooding hit the charity in November 2019 and affected 40% of their land rendering it unusable for up to 18 months, the timeline was tightened.
More equines will be moved to the Langworth site in coming months but the charity currently only has the temporary facilities needed for four small groups of horses and ponies to move at this point. The project to move almost 80 equines over a number of months is still in full swing, with almost 20% of the £200,000 crisis campaign target raised so far, since the middle of November 2019.
Moving equines to a different site is no easy task. Horses and ponies must be moved in herds at specific moments, to protect their mental wellbeing as much as their medical welfare. Herds are essentially social groups and many of these animals have lived with their companions for years, building relationships and trust. Moving them at the wrong time or housing them with the wrong companions could have a negative impact on them and could cause injuries.
Victoria Elliott, Head of Farm Operations at Bransby Horses (Bransby site) said:
“Challenges following the flooding continue here at Bransby but we are pleased we are able to release some funds from charity reserves so we can move some of our horses and ponies to the Langworth site quickly. A huge thank you to our supporters who have been and continue to be, so incredible. Your donations are a lifeline at this difficult and challenging time.”
For more than 51 years, Bransby Horses has been caring for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, many of which have been rescued from mistreatment or neglect. Demand for support from the charity has been growing year after year and in 2019, the site at Bransby in Lincolnshire was full to capacity. Almost 400 equines live on the site with more than 500 in foster homes across the country.
When flooding hit in November 2019 and the Environment Agency closed the valves which protected the land at the charity, 40% of the land at Bransby Horses was flooded to save thousands of homes in Lincolnshire. As the water subsided, it left land sodden and unsuitable to use.
Some of the land damaged won’t be suitable to use until late 2020. With equines having to adjust to these new conditions and living in herds they aren’t familiar with, the charity is now at crisis point. Conditions in the fields at Bransby are still wet, muddy and difficult to work in. The grazing on the land has been damaged and will take months to recover. The charity is working with the funding, space and resources they currently have but desperately need the support of the public to continue. If you want to help the charity at this difficult time, please visit www.bransbyhorses.co.uk