Animal Magic

Berkshire Life|April 2020

Animal Magic
It’s National Pet Month, which aims to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership. We spoke to two Berkshire animal sanctuaries about the vital work they do

Blue Acre Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre We caught up with fund-raising manager Sue Turner

Where are you based?

We are a registered charity based on Ham Island in Old Windsor, a few miles from Windsor town centre and very near historical Runnymede.

Our farm consists of 42 acres surrounded by the River Thames, where the horses go to drink and cool off in the warmer weather and they come and join us when we have barbecues and let our young volunteers loose on the river in kayaks or to swim. We see a wide variety of wildlife on the farm – water birds, kites, kestrels, pheasants, rabbits and hedgehogs, to name a few.

Berkshire is a fabulous mix of small villages and major towns, of which Windsor is probably the most famous, interspersed with beautiful countryside.

“It can take years to gain the trust of those that have been abused by humans”

Tell us about the work you do

Our main concern is the rescue, rehabilitation, care and possible rehoming of abused, neglected and abandoned horses and ponies of which we currently have 47, ranging in age from seven months to 35 yers old. Many of them are with us for the rest of their lives due to physical or behavioural issues and our pledge to them is that they will be cared for and loved until their days are over. We also have several rescued dogs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats and pigs, all of whom have free run of the farm area during the day.

It can take years to gain the trust of those that have been abused or neglected by humans and we work with each one at their own pace as we often have no knowledge of their background. The minimum we ask is for them to trust us to catch them from the field, bring them into the yard area and allow us to handle them all over so we can check them for any injury, illness, groom them and assess their wellbeing. They may need to have veterinary treatment. We then assess whether we can pursue further training and rehabilitation with a view to rehoming.

We have a wonderful team of volunteers (no one at the Rescue Centre is paid) and many of us are supporting one or more of our horses so they get consistency and learn to build relationships.

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April 2020