15th December - Our First Grant approved
A few weeks ago we received a letter from a firm of Solicitors who administer a fund known as the Edna Smylie Memorial Fund. In their letter they explained that someone had suggested to them that we should apply for a grant from the fund & they enclosed an application form.
The form explained that the "Fund" normally only paid grants to registered charities and usually to organisations in Kent, Sussex & that part of the world, but may consider applications from small organisations and who were based outside those areas. The Fund does not aim to provide "running cost" type expenses, i.e. they won't pay for food etc, but will consider "projects" etc. Clearly as we are not a registered charity, nor in the preferred area, we didn't hold out much hope, but we nevertheless completed the application form & sent it off.
The project we would like to work on next is to cover an area of the main "school", the piece furthest from the stables - an area about 60 foot wide by 20 foot deep. This will give excellent protection from the worst of the weather for the Horses that winter out. In Summer it will make somewhere to store the Hay we collect off the fields, as this has to currently sit outside & - well if we had a "summer" it wouldn't matter, but we tend to just have rain in this country now don't we ! Hay doesn't save if it gets wet.
We had previously obtained quotes for the work & the best was in the region of £7000. I know this sounds like a lot, but set against the monthly feed costs of £5200 - it puts in into perspective.
Anyway, the "Trustees" of the Edna Smylie Fund met on 11th December, and today we received a letter to say they had approved a grant of £3000 towards the project - subject to planning permission of course. This is fantastic news as we really want to make improvements to the lives of the animals here, as well as keeping them fed and a covered area like this will make a huge difference - it will also stop the ground beneath the shelter from getting wet & as those that came on Sunday will know, the drainage here in Essex is not good as we are on clay!
So we are launching an appeal to see if we can raise the funds necessary to make this happen
If you would like to help with this appeal, please do get in touch
14th December - Open Day
The Open Day went very well with about 20 people attending. The rain held off too and although it was cold, a nice time was had by all. Tea and refreshments being served in the new unwrapping shed !
A grand total of £520 was raised from donations which was fantastic news. A number of people have said they will become members after seeing the work that Fiona does which is really good news.
Some of the visitors got to meet a new dog too - he only arrived 2 days ago and is a cruelty case. He was going to be put to sleep, but Fiona agreed to take him as he has had such a rotten life. He is supposed to be about 4, but looks 24. Is blind & emaciated. He is a Sharpei.
He is at the vets tonight for an assessment and we will get his picture on line just as soon as possible. He is not castrated either, so can't yet be introduced to the main gang - also being blind he will hopefully live with the partially sighted & blind gang who live in the back part of the house with access to their own patio. (Sam, Lassie, Hettie etc)
At the moment he is living in the room we had Vladimir in - which is heated of course. Fiona has called him Vladimir too.
27th November - Membership Update
Membership of the Sanctuary is up to 200 now which is great news - we still need to double this if we are to carry on caring for all these animals - please check out the new membership schemes as advertised below on 11th September - we really need your help & remember 100% goes towards the animals feed costs - nothing goes in admin or salaries - thank you!
26th November - Update to NHVV event below (1st Nov)
£300 was raised for the Sanctuary from the event, for which we are very grateful ! - Also the charity FACE (Fight Animal Cruelty Everywhere) has donated £500 towards this months feed bill - which is handy as the last one came in at a staggering £5,700+
Sales of Martin's album have reached 80 raising £800 approx too, which is also a help - order your copy here whilst stocks last... Reviews here
22nd November - Fiona Runs for CAPS
Fiona is a Patron of the Charity CAPS (Captive Animal Protection Society) and all being well has agreed to run the London Marathon next year to support the work that CAPS does. One of the other CAPS Patrons Jay Kay from Jamiroquai is backing Fiona as you can see in the article HERE
If you would like to support Fiona please get in touch with her or go via CAPS as per the link above
15th November - Sheba
Sheba is an elderly German Shepherd who was about to be put to sleep Fiona was asked to take her in. On the basis that Sheba was an elderly female, and very very quite Fiona said OK - She is a good as gold & just spends all day asleep in the kitchen ! - Pics will be posted as soon as possible.
1st November - North Herts Vegetarian & Vegan Event
We were delighted when we were contacted by Helen from the North Herts Vegetarian & Vegan Group to say that we had been selected to be the charity to benefit from their event for World Vegan Day on Saturday night. Sanctuary supporters Tracy & Kevin who manned the Tower Hill Stables stall at the London Vegan festival a few months ago, again made themselves available to man a stall at the event in Ickleford this weekend which was very kind of them.
As it was an evening bash, Martin was able to attend whilst I looked after the animals here - with 35 Dogs in the house, one of us has to be here all the time!
Martin delivered a short speech about the work of the Sanctuary and leaflets were distributed to the attendees. They even played a track off Martin's bands new album and 11 copies were sold raising important funds for the animals which was great news. As soon as we know how much the evening raised I will let you know.
We are very grateful to all at the group for wanting to help the rescued animals here.
27th October - New Yak Album
Martin's bands 4th CD "Journey of the Yak" has arrived and is now available for purchase. There is a page HERE where you can order a copy.
All proceeds will go to the Sanctuary
To read more about the Band please visit their myspace page HERE
22nd October - Large Whites tuck in
See HERE for a new picture of the Large White Pigs tucking into their lunch last weekend !
Scroll down the page to see the most recent picture
19th October - Marylin the Pig
Marylin was living at a petting farm. She had lived there for many years and had been used to breed cute piglets for the amusement of the visitors.
The petting farm have got a younger breeding Sow now, and so now it was time to send Marylin away. A visitor was upset at what was about to happen and asked if they would spare Marylin if she could find somewhere for her to live.
She tried everywhere locally and then expanded the search to include the usual "organisations" who all said no. Then despite what the website says, she tried Fiona. Fiona felt so sorry for Marylin she agreed to take her.
As regular readers will no, we had no room for an extra pig when we took Edward a few weeks ago, so we have had to put Marylin into one of the new areas that we had put in for one of the Loch Lomond families to move into. This has snookered us as we now have nowhere to put the family who are currently in a stable - so we will have to see what can be done.
A video of Marylin is on youtube here
If you would like to help by sponsoring Marylin, please get in touch - thank you
18th October - Ebay Auction
A drum skin signed by Paul McCartney together with the authentication certificate has just gone onto ebay. The seller is going to give 50% of the sale proceeds to the Sanctuary
Check the auction out here
14th October - Dog Walk
This months walk is earlier than usual & will be NEXT Sunday - apologies for the short notice. Please let me know if you can make it. (19th Oct)
13th October - Cat News
Two elderly house cats arrived today. they had been taken to a vet in Southend to be put to sleep (or in plain speak; killed) as their owners didn't want them anymore. One is 15 & one is supposed to be 21. I am sure the older one is not that old, but rather the owner has said that to make the "please kill my cat request" to the vet more reasonable. ($%^?)
As we have so many dogs, the house cats tend to live upstairs where the dogs can't go & so these 2 new ones are in pens on the landing whilst they acclimatise to their new surroundings.
Please send me an e mail if you would like to join the Sanctuary as we really need your help
30th September - Pig News
At the moment we have Pigs and their babies in 7 stables ! - This was due to the Loch Lomond rescue earlier in the year and the resulting piglet arrivals as the females were nearly all pregnant. Clearly with Winter approaching we need the Pigs out of the stables & into their paddocks as quickly as possible as the stables will be needed for the elderly horses who are still out in the field at this time of year. Last nights rain has taken the fields back to where they were ahead of the recent spell of "summer" weather. It takes a long time for the ground to dry out & go hard, but only one good downpour to turn it back into 'slush'.
We had one "pig area" built a few months back which cost us £800. This is quite a large area & we hope to home 3 mothers & their families in it - there will be scuffles at first, but the area is large enough for them to get out of each others way until they establish a pecking order etc - That will free up 3 stables.
Yesterday I had two more areas built by sectioning off Cilla Pigs existing area into two & also sectioning the end piece of Jayne's paddock across the road. This extra work has cost £325 for materials & labour. This will clear out 2 more stables.
Additionally we will need to buy 2 more water troughs for these areas and 'fittings' to plumb them in (which we can do ourselves at no labour cost) Plus we need 2 more Pig Arks.
If you are able to help with the cost of getting the Pigs outside ! - please get in touch. This is all extra cost we have to bear on top of the feed bills. Donations can be made by PayPal to email@example.com - every penny helps - thank you
29th - September - Update
The Dog walk went very well and the weather was great !!! - Thanks to all who came along - £75 was raised for the animals. The next one will be the last but one Sunday in October.
Special thanks goes to Tracy, Kevin & their daughter Jade who ran a stall for the Sanctuary at the London Vegan festival - £575 was raised through the sale of raffle tickets, Sanctuary cotton bags and donations.
Also thank you's to Amanda George and her friends for running fund raising stalls on behalf of the Sanctuary over the past few months and raising £350 !
27th - September - Dog Walk
The September charity Dog walk will be tomorrow (28th) at 11
20th September - Thanks Ross !
Further to our request for a welder, Ross came over and sorted the gate hinges for us last weekend - see him at work here (although I think you need a facebook account to see this) If you haven't click here
Also thanks to John, Cong & Donna who volunteered to clean crates for us before they go back to Salisbury - still loads of crates left, so if anyone wants to help with this task please get in touch !! - many thanks
15th September - Welder Needed !
If anyone reading this knows how to, or knows someone who knows how to weld AND would be interested in helping us out with a bit of welding, we would love to hear from you. We don't have a welder, so it would need to be a portable unit. Basically we need to weld some gate hangers onto existing posts so that yard gates can be hung. We will be looking to get the 4 "hangers" required (for 2 gates) this weekend. They are the type that can be bolted into a wooden post, but the posts we need to hang from are metal! This is the last part of our Winter preparation work that needs to be done before the Horses come in from the fields.
If you can help Please get in touch - thank you
11th September - New Membership Scheme Announced
As regular readers and existing members of the Sanctuary will know, we do not have a fixed membership amount in order to "join" the Sanctuary. Currently you can become a member of the Sanctuary by setting up a standing order "here" for any amount you would like to donate on a monthly basis. We want to continue with this arrangement as it allows people to choose an amount they are comfortable with and of course they are free to alter the amount simply by contacting their own bank.
We are today however please to announce a new membership program which will run in parallel with the existing arrangements to hopefully attract new members to help with the costs of feeding the 400 rescued animals.
Introducing the new "Carrot Membership Scheme" - Become a "Carrot Member" for just £1.65 a month !! - This is the cost of a sack of carrots and we use 100 sacks a week ! These days there are only a few weeks in the year when the carrots are not available, so most weeks you will always see a mighty pile of carrots in the yard ! - but at 14 sacks a day usage, the pile quickly goes down !
If you would like to join by becoming a Carrot Member, just complete the membership form here for £1.65 a month - or "2 sack" membership at £3.30 a month - and so on. Your money will be used to buy carrots which many of the animals enjoy daily as part of their diet - particularly the Horses & Cows, but Goats & Pigs too enjoy carrots and of course the Rabbits. The Geese love them as well ...and if there's any left Martin too even - eheh
If you join as a Carrot Member you will receive a carrot in the post as a thank you (if you want one!) together with instructions on how to cook and eat it ! Be the envy of your neighbours. I bet they don't get a carrot through the post often - eh?
Next is the "Hay Membership Scheme" This is very much like the Carrot Membership Scheme, only due to postage costs and frankly letterbox issues uncovered in user testing, we will not be sending you a bale of hay through the post ! Additionally we have yet to find a suitable cooking method and large enough saucepan. This membership scheme costs £3.25 a month - of if you want to buy 2 bales a month, £6.50 - and so on. The Sanctuary uses 100 bales every week - more in wintertime.
Next is the "Shortfeed Membership Scheme" - Now shortfeed is the term used for sacks of feed concentrates for animals - generally 20KG sacks & we buy shortfeed for the Horses, Cows, Goats, Sheep and sometimes Pigs. The price of shortfeed sacks varies. The economy mixes are between £5/6 a sack whilst the more expensive feeds used for the older and more needy animals are £10+ a sack these days. So as an average we are pegging the "Shortfeed Membership Scheme" at £8 per month which would mean that you are buying a sack of feed for the animals per month at this level of donation. Clearly as with the Hay Membership Scheme, the weight & size of the items prohibits a postal example as a thank you!
Whatever membership type you choose, every single penny of your hard earned cash will go towards the feed costs. The Sanctuary is not a business; it's not what we do for a living. Nothing will be deducted to pay for admin, salaries, or any type of expense.
Members can visit the animals at the Open Days (June & December) and if you attend one of the monthly Dog walks (last Sunday in the month) you will have a chance to meet the gang after the walk !
Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary is in Essex near Burnham-on-Crouch and about 15 miles from Chelmsford.
We need about 200 more members in order to keep going - please help us
10th - September - Kune Kune Pig
Today Fiona had just got back from a 16 mile run & was about to start the afternoon "shift" when the phone rang with someone wanting a home for a Kune Kune Pig. The Pig was already loaded & was about to be sent to slaughter but the owner was still trying to find somewhere to take him. All the major charities had said "no" (suprise suprise) & the RSPCA had even suggested having him shot as the best thing to do. (Rolf or the camera's weren't about that day obvioulsy).
We didn't want the poor thing slaughtered & so despite having 400 animals & 7 acres we said we would find him somewhere to live. He arrives tomorrow.
31st August - Dog Walk
It was a lovely day for the Dog walk - despite the weather warnings - and a fine time was had by all ! Poppy, Maddie & Buddy decided that it was too humid & so had to call for a lift home just the other side of the first bridleway, but Tessy 1 & 2 + Rolly, Cassie, Amber, Mutley and visiting guests Taffy & Willow managed to stay the course - quite a lot of water was drunk at the Church and Rolly, in particular, enjoyed a cold shower!
The sun continued to shine on arrival back home and the baked potatoes seemed to go down well with everyone - especially Meg !
26th August - A Heart Warming Story (of everyday country folk...)
Fiona received a call at the weekend from a local lady who had seen the sanctuary's poster in a local shop. She explained that she had 8 dogs and had a large quantity of frozen brawn & meat that her dogs didn't like & wouldn't eat - so did Fiona want it.... Firstly - lets consider the facts so far - we have a load of frozen 'God knows what' & the ladies own Dogs - some 8 - won't eat it. So not likely to be a single "fussy dog" problem - ...could it be "off" perhaps? - still, Fiona was very polite & explained the following:
Clearly with 35 Dogs in the house we have to be careful what we feed & we like to keep the Dogs on a consistent and high quality dry feed as if you continually change what you are feeding it can cause stomach upsets & that can bring on diarrhea. The woman got angry at this point & said "well how am I supposed to know what you feed your dogs on?" (aren't some people great?) Fiona said calmly, that's what I am explaining to you, but what I will do is to call my friend at a Brentwood kennels to see if she could use it. The call ended.
Fiona called the kennels but as expected, they didn't want a load of frozen meat either for exactly the same reasons as Fiona had not wanted it, so Fiona called the local lady back to explain. On hearing the news the local lady exploded at Fiona saying "This is outrageous, you people are all the same, you can't be helped, all you ever want is money, it's just a scam, they should investigate people like you". Fiona kept her cool & simply said. "Well it's been lovely talking to you, Goodbye" and put the phone down.
This is unfortunately not an un-typical scenario.
The reason sanctuaries and kennels do not want to feed their animals any old rubbish I would have thought were self evident. It is true that places like Tower Hill Stables need money so that they can buy the things they actually need to keep the animals well fed & healthy. Palming off unwanted (& possibly "off") rubbish onto a Sanctuary, or anywhere, is only helping the person doing the palming off - it is not helping the animals. I would have thought this was not Rocket Science - but it seems that perhaps it is - at least for some folk !
Don't forget its the Dog Walk this Sunday @ 11am - e mail Fiona if you would like to attend
25th - August - New Horse
18 year old Segovia arrived this weekend. I will get his picture posted as soon as possible !
24th August - Sad News
I regret to advise that poor Vladimir passed away suddenly on Friday. It was a terrible shock. I had just gone to fetch him to take him for his little walk by the sea and found him dead in his room. It took Martin & I all weekend to come to terms with it as we had such high hope for him & he was such a nice Dog. The vet said it was not likely that the liver condition had caused this to happen, but rather that there was something else going on. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed towards his operation costs - some £900 approx now. Although this will now not be necessary, we have run up over £1250 in vets bills for him so far and so we would like to use the donations towards this.
Rest in peace Vladimir, we only knew you for a few weeks but we will always remember you XX
15th August - Appeal for Vladimir
Further to the entry of 5th August below we are appealing for help to raise the funds necessary to pay for Vladimir's operation. So far we have received nearly £700 in donations towards his operation and if you want to help us reach the £3000 target, please let us know. You can donate by PayPal using the e mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or by cheque payable to Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary - address at the foot of the membership form here Vladimir's page is here we will upload some more pictures of him this weekend.
14th August - Membership Campaign
We are desperately trying to increase the number of members the Sanctuary has from 164 to 300+ and to this end we have set up a Sanctuary group on Facebook. If you have an account there search in groups for "tower hill stables" and it should come up. Please send a join request to any friends you have on facebook too - thanks
10th August - another busy weekend
As you may be aware, for the past 2 years or so, Martin has been collecting a car load of "on sell by" produce & bread from Sainsburies in Brentwood. This we have used to feed the Pigs and goats. Now of course with the Loch Lomond Pigs having produced a further 25 or so mouths to feed this food is all the more important to us. Unfortunately a company called "Old MacDonalds Farm in Brentwood have persuaded Sainsburies to let them take the food on a Tuesday & Thursday in spite of the fact that they are a commercial business whereas we are a charitable organisation. They are essentially a petting zoo & have amusements - you know the kind of thing - £10 to get in I think - & they have a restaurant.
So, we are now short of Pig food ! Even with the Sainsburies food - which is absolutely fantastic quality - our feed bills are £5200 a month & without the Sainsbury food on Tuesday & Thursday we have been forced to collect it on Saturday. This is an extra 3 hours we have to find which is not ideal at all.
If there is anyone or a number of people reading this who might consider doing the sainsbury run on a Saturday and/or Sunday for us that would be a real help. This is Sainsbury in Brentwood by the way. All you have to do is drive into the back, load up & drive the food here.
We managed to get 15 or so sheep sheared today - the weather has been so poor it hasn't been necessary yet to tackle this yearly task, but we have to get it done. There are just 5 left to do, but Martin needs a new back first...
The Loch Lomond Pigs have now passed the 115 day mark, which means that there will be no more piglets arriving ! The vets are booked for Tuesday week to castrate all the males. I dread to think what that will cost. Then they can move out to their new paddock across the road in time for the arrival of Summer - which I assume has to be soon???
Vladimir is due back at the vets this week & needs more medication. He is on 4 different sorts of medication a day. We don't know what to do as we cannot afford the operation.
Crate Cleaners Desperately Sought - if you want to help physically - we need someone or many people to clean up about 100 sainsbury crates ! They have got muddy & need a scrub before we can take them back to sainsbury. They are all sitting in the field across the road where Percy lives. There is a mains water supply & scrubbing brush waiting ! - An ideal job for the Summer.... Please get in touch if you want to help. Thank you
Finally - if anyone has any ideas about how we can increase the number of people sponsoring an animal (currently around 160) please let us know.
5th August - Vladimir Comes Home
Vladimir has been at the vet since Friday whilst they try to establish what has been causing the fitting. He came home today with the results ...and a bill for £800
It is not good news. He has a problem with his liver that will take an operation to cure. In layman's terms, there is a rogue blood vessel that is effectively by-passing his liver. The liver is used to cleanse toxins from the blood & because a large proportion of Vladimir's blood is "missing" his liver out, the toxins are not being filtered & these are getting to his brain causing the fits. The operation would seek to close off this rogue blood vessel which would then force all the blood to go through Vladimir's liver. This is however not easy, as the vessel cannot be closed off in one go as the additional pressure this would put on the liver may have catastrophic results. Instead, the vessel has to be slowly closed off. They put some sort of clasp around it, which reduces it by 50% & then over 6 months or so, it closes completely.
In the meantime Vladimir is on 4 lots of medication twice a day & must have a special diet that will not put too much pressure on his liver.
We are waiting for an estimate on the operation costs and expect these to be about £3000
Without the operation, Vladimir's has no long term prognosis. Poor Vladimir :0(
Clearly this is a difficult time. If anyone is able to help us with these costs, please get in touch
2nd August - Saint FM
Following the Tillingham Flower Show, where we did the car parking, one of the leaflets given out found its way to Steve Gallant of Saint FM who has asked Fiona to go for a radio interview on Tuesday this week - between 2 & 4. Not sure if this is going to be "live" or recorded for later transmission, but if you can get Saint (local Maldon radio) then tune in !
1st August - Hay Alert Again !
The "expected" call came (on Fiona's Birthday!) at 9:30 pm to say that person who was supposed to take the last 200 didn't want them now they were wet ! & did we want them? Fiona was supposed to be taking her Mum down to her Sisters in Sussex for a joint birthday celebration tea as her Sisters daughter was 2, however we had to cancel the plans as clearly we cannot turn down an opportunity to save funds for the animals.
So on Saturday evening, after the jobs were done, Fiona & I set off to collect the last 200! Yes the rain had made them wet & some were about twice as heavy ! We ought to have got them in with 4 van runs, however due to the swollen nature of the bales we had to do 5 trips.
It doesn't matter to us that they have got a bit wet as we will use them so quickly - but they cannot be stored now.
We unloaded & stacked all but the last van load & Matt came round to help on Sunday to help Me unload the last load as Fiona had a 22 mile training run to fit in !
Thanks also to Matt for helping to muck out 2 Pig stables !!
31st July - Vladimir rushed to the Vet
We had been told that Vladimir had been having some fits before he came to us, but he had not had one since his arrival. However he started to fit today & so Fiona rushed him to the Vet. Unfortunately he had a fit in the car too which wasn't ideal. The vets have taken blood tests & we wait to see what they will reveal - his page is updated here
30th July - Hay Alert
The call came to let us know that the remaining hay had been cut and was ready to collect. At short notice, Leigh, Rob, Andy, Rachel & Donna made themselves available to help & we set off to collect what we thought was the 1st lot of the 1000 - or so we had been told we could have.
Speaking to Ernie when we arrived it was bad news as the fields "yield" was about 800 bales less than he was expecting - based on previous years cuts. This can be for all sorts or reasons, but the upshot was that we were limited to a total of 190.
These were quickly collected by the Hay Team & in doing so -& thanks to a revolutionary new stacking technique - we broke the previous record of 52 & got 54 in one load !
There were a further 200 bales left on the field, but these were for someone else - however with the prospect of rain the following day - we had a sneaking suspicion that the person would cry off. We told Ernie that should this happen, please let us know as we would be happy to take the wet bales & use them quickly.
28th July - Vladimir & Bunny
During the Dog Walk, a rabbit called Bunny arrived & also a rather large gentleman called Vladimir - not got a picture of Bunny yet, but will do so soon. Click here to see Vladimir - he weighs 50Kgs !
27th July - Dog Walk Update
It was a hot one ! - a bit too hot in fact, but unperturbed we set off on the 5 mile trek ! After a mere mile, Poppy decided she had had enough and so we called for mobile assistance & she went home in the car !. The rest of the team went on to St Lawrence Church (hopefully a picture will be emailed soon!). However Teddy and Katie decided they were too hot to walk back and again the car was called to ferry them home.
On the return journey Buddy seemed to be full of beans, whilst Cassie, Amber, Mutley and visiting Darcey took the return leg in their stride. Rolly Polly decided that she should be carried about a mile from home & Martin & John took it in turns. She decided to get down & walk again about 200 yards from home, so no-one would see that she had been carried !
Refreshments were served on arrival home including some very welcome tea !
£100 was raised for the animals, so thank you to all who came along. Hopefully next month will be a little cooler !
Whilst the Dog walk was in progress, a Rabbit called Bunny arrived along with a Doggy called Vladimir. Vlad went to the vets on Monday (28th) to be castrated. more details about him will appear soon !
26th July - Tillingham Flower Show
As regular readers know we have been appealing for helpers to act as stewards for the car parking on the basis that the organisers said we can keep the £1 car parking fee for the Sanctuary. The volunteers called at 8 am today to cancel, so emergency calls were made to Matt & Keith who dropped everything to come over & help ! - The sunny weather brought the visitors out in droves & we collected £305 altogether. This will go towards the cost of the hay we have collected this week. Big thanks to Matt & Keith for helping at such short notice.
25th July - Hay Team day 3
Martin & I cleared the final 92 bales from the field this evening! - This brings this batch of hay collecting to a close with 438 bales being collect in altogether. The farmer has another 1000 for us but this isn't cut yet. Stay tuned for further updates
24th July - Hay Team day 2 !
This evenings Hay Team had 8 people !! - Bill, Jo & Divina from Martin's office + Andy, Rob, Leigh (+ Fiona & Martin of course). Many hands made light work of the 4 runs we managed to achieve this evening between 7 & 9:30 pm. We collected 202 bales, & on one trip managed to fit in 52 bales setting a new European & commonwealth Record ! (well probably...)
The only controversy was that Jo was wearing a Hay Team Badge - the only one in existence & this caused some degree of jealousy in the ranks. A strike was avoided but Martin will be manufacturing a few more in true Blue Peter style to keep the equilibrium ! eheh
We think there are about 80 left on the field & we will get those tomorrow ahead of the predicted showers scheduled for the weekend (great!)
Thanks again to all Hay Team members everywhere & if you want to join this elite club, just let me know !
23rd July - It's Hay Time
We had notice that there would be hay available towards the end of this week and on Tuesday, the farmer called to say it is ready from Wednesday pm ! - Then the fun started. Normally we are able to borrow supporter Keith's rather large van to collect the hay in. However the van was missing in action. Eh? - well a friend of Keith's had borrowed it to take his motorbike to Brands Hatch to race it last weekend & unfortunately he had a bad crash on the track & was in hospital with all sorts of problems - including memory loss. Neil will be OK we understand, but has some bad injuries and will be in hospital for a while. We wish him a speedy recovery. Eventually however we established that the van was somewhere in Essex ! - It had been taken back to the racing teams HQ & we just had to find where that was. Eventually it was recovered & arrived back in Brentwood. Martin & Keith unloaded it of its motorbikes & associated gear at lunchtime today. Having already been to Sainsburies to get the daily food for the pigs in his car, Martin had to transfer this to the van & then leave his car at the office in Brentwood & drive the van home - unload the sainsburies food & grab a quick cup of tea before the Hay Team arrived !
Tonights Hay Team featured Leigh, Julie and Jo + Martin & Fiona of course and we managed to get 3 van loads collected from Bradwell and unloaded back at the Sanctuary
In all we collected 144 bales in this evening - each bale saving £2 - so we saved the best part of £300 tonight on the feed bill this month.
We are collecting again tomorrow & Friday from 7 pm. If you want to be in the Hay Team - please let us know !
Don't forget the Monthly Charity Dog Walk is this Sunday - let me know if you want to book a Dog !
18th July - Save Dolly
If you are on Facebook - have a look at this group here It's a group created to save a Dog called Dolly. If you don't have Facebook I have cut & pasted the story to a page on this site here
We would like to raise funds to help pay for her treatment as well as her on-going care. Please pass this story to all you know & try to enlist as much help as you can - thank you
She arrives here on Sunday
16th July - Chicken Rescue
Today we were able to take 165 rescued hens from a farm near Brighton. Each year Brighton Animal Aid and others organise the rescue of as many hens as possible from a free range farm. Even free range hens are killed at 80 weeks old for food, but this one farm currently allows as many as can be homed to be taken. There are 13,500 altogether and about half are re-homed. The new Hens are milling about on the lawn and in the stables as I type. I will post some pictures as soon as I can. Clearly if anyone would like to sponsor a rescued Hen, please get in touch !
PS - if anyone is interested in helping re the entry of 7th below - please get in touch asap
15th July - CT goes out
CT the Pig has been at the Sanctuary since she was a tiny piglet - see here We have been waiting for her to be big enough to cope with the Large White Pigs & today the day finally came - see here for details and pictures
10th July - Hay team
The Hay team is up to 10 people now - if you would like to put your name down please let us know - see 24th June update - bottom part of the entry for the details. We need to get to about 30 names to make this work, so please ask anyone you know who may be able to help
7th - Volunteers for 26th July
We have been asked if we can provide a couple of people to do the parking direction at the Tillingham Flower Show on Saturday 26th July - All you will need to do is to show the cars where to park on the playing field at Tillingham. We have been told that if we do this, the Sanctuary can have the parking money which should be £200-£300. If you are interested in helping out with this please get in touch for more details.
5th July - Meg & Masha arrive
Masha is a old German Shephard who is very quiet and has settled in very well. Meg is a little old Staffie with back leg issues. Both her and Masha were facing the needle and no-one wlse would take them. I will get their pictures posted as soon as possible.