Lincolnshire animal charity appeals for help after facing crisis with heavy floods

Bransby Horses has been badly affected by recent floods. EMN-191211-103210001
Bransby Horses has been badly affected by recent floods. EMN-191211-103210001

The welfare of more than 450 horses, donkeys, ponies and mules at a Lincolnshire equine rescue and welfare charity has been put at risk following overwhelming floods.

Bransby Horses is in crisis and staff are still adjusting to the devastating impact caused - with the charity appealing for donations/help to get things back on track.

On Friday, November 8, along with the unprecedented levels of rain, the drain valves which served to help keep rising waters of Bransby at bay, were closed as advised by the Environment Agency, to prevent the further flooding of Lincoln.

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.

Jo Snell, Chief Executive says: “We’re in crisis conditions which will have significant long term effect on our charity, staff and equine residents for months, perhaps for even years to come.

“The current conditions are not sustainable for keeping our animals and staff safe, which of course is, and always will be, our priority.

Emma Carter, Director of Equine Welfare, added: “We were flooded in 2007, but not to these levels and not with over 400 horses to keep safe and well. These are extreme times for us, and we will need all the support we can get from our staff, and where possible, local businesses and the public.

“As for the long term, whilst 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.”

However, over the last few days since the flooding, the Charity has been overwhelmed by the communities’ support.

In response to this the charity has been developing their Emergency Flood Crisis Campaign (EFCC).

Jo said: “Bransby Horses has been working hard, day and night to maintain the health and safety of the 450 horses we have here at Bransby.

“We’ve lost 40% of our grazing land due to the flooding, and are dealing hour by hour with the hazards of having up to 4 feet of contaminated flood waters in our fields and yards.

“This is understandably exhausting for our teams, however the public support we’ve received since the story hit the news and our social media channels has been incredible, and has kept our spirits high.

“As part of our Flood Response Strategy, we’ve been working on developing our Emergency Flood Crisis Campaign.

“This campaign will continue to run long after the floods subside, for anywhere up to 18 months.

“There are lots of ways our supporters can help right now, and so we’ve drafted a Ways You Can Help Guide, and published this on our website”.

Ways to help:

Donating Money

We have set up a specific page for the flood crisis. Thank you so much for your kind words and generous donations and your ongoing support for the charity and the welfare of our equines. Here’s a link to our JustGiving flood appeal, a gift of any amount will go directly to this appeal and make a huge difference to us at this difficult time: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Bransbyhorsesfloodcrisis

Donating Goods

The Charity at this time welcome donations of any extra supplies you can get to us. The way to do this is with Amazon Wish List. Simply click here to see a full list of what we currently need: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/37USQC6GW5QXQ?ref_=wl_share

Rehoming and Fostering an Equine

Our Rehoming Team are appealing to anybody who is currently considering fostering an equine. Now is the time to help – there are 19 incredible ponies that are looking for their perfect match. All you need to do in the first instance is compete the online application form at: www.bransbyhorses.co.uk/rehoming - and then one of our team will be in touch.

Volunteering

There are various opportunities available and different ways in which we need your support. *For equine specific role we are looking for current or previous horse owners, with at least 3 years equine experience, and are over 16 years old. Please email your name, telephone number and the days and times you’re available to: volunteer@bransbyhorses.co.uk

Due to the bio-security of the site all safety clothing will be provided by the charity.

The type of work we’re looking for help with:

*Equine Specific Tasks: Checking equines; feeding, giving medications, applying treatments and giving a thorough check of each equine. Poo picking fields and mucking out stables (not hands on but must have horse experience to have the special awareness and able to read equine body language).

General Tasks: Washing feed buckets, filling hay nets, sweeping areas, poo picking areas that horses have moved out of and collecting shavings and feed (in a vehicle). Administration support for answering the telephones and support with getting hot drinks and soup to the teams across the site.

Transporting Equines

We have been inundated by the generous offers to use trailers and horseboxes and we are truly overwhelmed by your support. Due to the complexity of many of our equines and the ongoing bio security we must adhere to as a welfare charity, unfortunately we are not able to accept these kind offers of help. We are working with other charities who are able to provide transport that covers the particular insurance and bio security needs to transport our equines safely.

Offering Land for Equines

The offer of land and stables has been overwhelming. Many of our equine residents have specific behaviour requirements either with their handling or how they are bonded with their companions. We have many equines that have been at the charity for such a long time we have no idea how they would cope with the stress of moving or changing their routines. Those that are more adjusted to change have been chosen to transfer across to our Barlings site with priority areas being created to safely house our much loved groups.

At the moment, thankfully we are able to temporarily meet the needs of all our equines with longer term plans in place for the teams to create safe environments in other locations.

By offering us your details when you have land and stables available gives us extra opportunities should the need arise and we are eternally grateful for your acts of kindness.