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Equine rescue centre crowned best visitor attraction

Staff at Scotland’s largest equine rescue centre are celebrating winning best visitor attraction in the 2015 Aberdeen & Shire Tourism awards.

World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm Rescue and Rehoming centre near Aboyne, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, is open from 11am to 4pm from Wednesday to Sunday through the year.

Following the opening of a new indoor arena and visitors centre in 2012 the number of tourists visiting has trebled to over 14,000.

“The entire team has worked hard to make the farm a very interesting, engaging and above all welcoming place to visit,” said centre manager Eileen Gillen who has been with World Horse Welfare since 1990 and helped establish Belwade Farm.

“Our primary focus is on the rehabilitation and rehoming of the horses and we are always delighted to welcome visitors who are keen to come and see the work we do,” she added.

There are 65 horses, ponies and donkeys on the farm including the Clydesdale Digger who at 19.hh is the biggest horse the charity has looked after.

Visitors can follow nature walks past the drystone wall edged paddocks through woodland and along the River Dee.

“The Belwade team work 385 days a year doing a difficult and demanding job but will always greet visitors with warm smiles,” said the charity’s chief executive Roly Owers.

“This plays such an invaluable role as we strive to raise the profile of the plight of vulnerable horses in Scotland, across the UK and around the world.”

Mr Owers said the team at Belwade “thoroughly deserve this award” and he would encourage “everyone to visit this real jewel in the Royal Deeside countryside.”

For more information visit: www.worldhorsewelfare.org

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