A welfare charity that houses more than 450 equines is in “crisis” after it was hit in “life-changing ways” by flooding.
Bransby Horses in Lincolshire suffered devastating levels of flooding following unprecedented rainfall on Friday (8 November).
A spokesman for the charity said drain valves based at the charity to prevent rising water had been closed, as advised by the Environment Agency, to prevent further flooding in Lincoln.
“This arrangement is a long-standing agreement between the Environment Agency and the charity to help protect thousands of homes in and around Lincoln from flooding,” he said.
“The charity fully supports the required actions of the Environment Agency to flood the Till Washland, though this has unfortunately impacted the charity in life-changing ways.”
Bransby Horses chief executive Jo Snell said the charity is in “crisis conditions”, which will have a long term impact for possibly “years to come”.
“We have more than 450 equines on site, of which we have assessed more than 100 will need moving to our site in Barlings within the next four weeks,” she said.
“The current conditions are not sustainable for keeping our animals and staff safe, which of course is, and always will be, our priority.
“The floods have in parts brought and spread human sewage onto our site, and this combined with over four foot of water in places means the land which our animals graze on is fast becoming unsafe.”
Director of equine welfare Emma Carter said the charity is facing “extreme times” and needs all the support it can get.
“We were flooded in 2007, but not to these levels and not with more than 450 horses to keep safe and well,” she said. “We’re currently planning exactly what support we will need and how we can coordinate it, and will communicate this in the coming days. For now our priority is to keep our animals out of the contaminated waters and supplied with clean water, fresh bedding and the nourishment such cold temperatures demand of them.
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‘The charity has a team of around 60 officers trained to work in fast and contaminated water’
The project manager said the heavy horses were a perfect fit for the work at the sensitive woodland site
“As for the long term, while large amounts of our site are still underwater, the future is going to be tough over the coming year. In the next four weeks we will be looking to move 100 equines up to our site in Barlings, Langworth, which we acquired last year. This purchase was made in part for this very contingency however, the site is currently far from being fit for the large number of equines that we need to move with such speed and for the staff required to work there. We will need money and labour to make this a success and to cause as least stress to our horses, donkeys, mules and ponies as possible.”
Director of engagement and income generation, Sally Crawford, added that while some of the charity’s events will be cancelled, the site remains open to the public.
“We’re sure our amazing supporters will understand that they won’t be able to access flood damaged areas. Our supporters are our lifeline and we’re hoping they will keep an eye on our website and Facebook to keep abreast of the events that we are still planning to run including visiting Father Christmas in his Grotto and visiting our gift shop and café,” she said.
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