North Devon Equine Rescue seeks support to open new animal attraction at North Devon Farm Park.
A BARNSTAPLE horse re-homing charity is hoping to expand to bigger and better premises – just four months after opening its doors.
North Devon Equine Rescue began life at Deer Park Nurseries on the edge of town in October but is now hoping to establish a new public attraction at North Devon Farm Park near Swimbridge.
The park closed in 2011 but owners are keen to reopen it as an animal centre and have offered the charity use of the site at a reduced rate.
The charity’s Ann Sim now hopes they can raise enough money through sponsors and investors.
She said: “By moving into North Devon Farm Park we could draw public attraction and help re-home more horses by enabling viewers to walk around and see our resident horses and also let them see the work that goes into them.
“We are desperately looking for longer-term sponsors and investors to help us reopen the park to the public to draw tourists back into the area.
“We’d want to make it as cheap as possible for families as we are only doing it for the horses.
“Our plan is to remain at our centre at Deer Park Nurseries for some of our older residents who will get a lot more of the one-on-one time they deserve.”
Other plans for the new site include a bridal path, campsite and a show and tell area with ponies for younger children.
Well-known equine enthusiast Gareth Horsemanship, who helps out at the current centre three times a week, has also offered to put on shows.
Ann told the Gazette that the centre receives two or three calls a day from people needing to re-home their animals, but with 19 horses currently at the centre they had reached their limit except for absolute emergencies.
She also thanked everyone who had helped in the past few months, with a recent table top sale raising £300.
The charity has a number of fundraising events planned to help them reach their target, including a novelty auction.
“We’re doing an auction in Fever, alongside North Devon Hospice and Help for Heroes, where we’ll be auctioning off single men and women to the highest bidder in April,” added Ann.
“Hopefully by doing that together we can generate a lot of interest and raise a lot of money for all of the charities.”
The charity’s next fundraising event is an equine and general table top sale at St John’s Community Hall in Barnstaple on January 26 at 11am.
To get involved or to donate, contact www.northdevonequinerescue.com or call 07970 998447.