Whilst we continue our assocation with HorseWorld and our sponsorship of Gracie-May (pictured above) there have been some major changes at HorseWorld's Whitchurch site.  Emily Mitchard from HorseWorld explains:

HorseWorld's Visitor Centre is closed but the charity is still open!

HorseWorld's Whitchurch Visitor Centre sadly closed its doors for the last time in February this year. However, the facilities are now being used to nurse rescued horses back to health.

Like many UK charities, HorseWorld has suffered from plummeting voluntary donations. At the same time our rescue work has been busier than ever.  Despite some successes in building income, particularly through increased visitor numbers, we have desperately needed to expand, modernise and redevelop the Visitor Centre so that it could accommodate more visitors and encourage those visitors to stay longer.

Applications were considered by B&NES Development Control Committee (DCC) in November 2013 and despite recommendations for the applications from the planning officers the DCC members chose not to approve the applications.  The planning refusal meant that the Trustees needed to review all possible options for saving costs, including the closure of the visitor centre.  The visitor centre closed its doors on 28th February 2014. Horses from the visitor centre were moved to HorseWorld's Equine Welfare facilities -Keynes Farm or rehomed via HorseWorld's loan scheme.

The land at the Visitor Centre, facilities and some of the highly skilled equine staff are now being used to help address the widening equine crisis in the UK, where some 7,000 horses have been identified as being at risk of serious neglect. The site is now being used for newly rescued animals.

Mark Owen, HorseWorld's Managing Director said "I am very sad to have to close one the areas much loved attractions. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported the charity through the visitor centre over the 14 years it has been open. Now is the time though, for us to focus all our efforts on our core Charitable Equine rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming work. We are very much still here and still rescuing horses in need."

Although it was very sad that we had to close the Visitor Centre it does mean that we are now able to focus solely on the aims of the charity. As well as our rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming work we also have an educational programme called Discovery.
Discovery provides courses for young people who are outside of mainstream schooling due to emotional, behavioural or learning issues. This programme provides staggering results and the young people attending these courses can now gain a City and Guilds qualification, which will allow them to go onto further education.

To find out more about HorseWorld Trust and how you could support them visit their website on www.horseworld.org.uk or contact Emily Mitchard on 01275 893033.