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Reopening to the public on 8th July 2020

29th June 2020

We’re delighted to announce that we will be reopening our doors to the public at 10am on Wednesday 8th July 2020.

The site is still free entry and initially we will be running at reduced days and hours, open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am until 3pm.

In line with the UK Government response to the coronavirus, we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distancing regulations and plan for their visit by reading more information and FAQs here. 

As well as a newly refurbished Gift Shop and Donated Goods Shop and additional picnic fields, visitors can now pre-book a packed lunch or breakfast, through the new Click and Collect Café service that will be available at our online shop from Tuesday 7th July.

Our site in Bransby, which welcomes thousands of visitors each year, closed to the public on 20th March 2020. During Lockdown we’ve been busy keeping the hundreds of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that live at our Bransby and Barlings sites, safe and well. Since March, measures have been in place to keep employees healthy and safe, strictly following Government guidance including social distancing, office employees working from home where appropriate, high standards of on-site hygiene and strict sanitation.

Jo Snell, our CEO says:

“We are so looking forward to welcoming back visitors to our Bransby site, especially as we have so much outside space for our visitors to enjoy.

“There will be some changes to the normal ways of working for our employees and visitors, as is to be expected. And though petting of our animal residents won’t be allowed, visitors can still enjoy watching our equines at a safe distance whilst walking in the miles of beautiful countryside we have here.

“We’ve been working hard to ensure that the new hygiene and social distancing measures are implemented in a way that will still allow our supporters to enjoy a fun and memorable visit to our Bransby site. The new Click and Collect Café service, our outside Café takeaway kiosk and additional visitor welcomers will all help support the extra social distancing measures that have been put in place. We’re all very excited to see all the smiling faces we’ve missed for so long.”

Bransby Horses’ teams have also been dedicated to keeping our supporters entertained during Lockdown. Local care homes have received regular hand written updates to be read out by care employees, whilst on social media, as well as virtual video tours as part of their Keep on Keeping on campaign, one particular donkey has given and received a lot of hope and joy during the nation’s challenging period.

Raising spirits every day, our social Donkey resident, Nipper, has been visiting many horse, pony, donkey and mule friends and sharing his tales to nearly 30,000 followers! For the three months of the 2020 Lockdown, March, April and May, every morning, a positive, uplifting tale of Nipper’s adventures around the Charity site was posted on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The response from our supporters has been incredible, so much so, that we are now creating a set of collectible postcard stories, ready for Christmas 2020.

Of the hundreds of comments received, here are just a few that summed up the impact the tales have had on the thousands of readers:

“Nipper, and of course your two legged friend [who interprets for you] thank you for showing the way through these horrible, crazy days. Your posts have been an anchor of positivity to cling to. For a lot of people separated from family and friends the presence of animals in our lives has been a blessing.”

“Thank you Nipper and your friends for the wonderful musings. They get read at work, and are a joy to everyone. As already suggested a little book of ‘Nipper’s Musings’ would be most appreciated by many. Take care all of you at Bransby Horses and continue with your amazing work. Stay safe.”

“Thank you Nipper for your ponderings…you are so widely read!! You have given much calm in this storm. Stay safe…”

“Thank you Nipper, you sure have helped me through this horrible time with your lovely words.”