World Horse Welfare Penny Farm reopens this month after year-long lockdown - just in time for 20th anniversary
World Horse Welfare Penny Farm is reopening to the public after more than a year in lockdown - just in time for the charity's 20th anniversary.
The farm, on Preston New Road, closed its doors to visitors last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic - though it continued to take in and rehome abandoned, neglected and abused horses and ponies during this time.
It will reopen on Wednesday, June 23, with new safety measures in place including a booking system to manage numbers.
Centre promotions manager Zoe Clifford said: “We can’t wait to welcome people back once more, old friends and new, and there is certainly plenty to see and find out about. This is a wonderful time of the year here at Penny Farm and the horses and ponies are enjoying the weather. Despite being closed to the public since March last year, we’ve continued to take in horses and ponies in need. Our wonderful team here have been very busy working with them, continuing their rehabilitation work and preparing them for rehoming.”
World Horse Welfare Penny Farm opened on June 15 2001. It was supposed to open three months earlier, but was held back due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease at the time.
The organisation needs to raise £500,000 each year to keep going. However, due to Covid-19, most fund-raising efforts had to be put on hold - and donations have fallen by 20 per cent in the last year.
"One of the proudest moments is getting a horse that comes to us in a terrible condition and seeing them go on to a loving home.
"The farm itself has evolved quite a lot over the years. We've had an extension to our visitor's centre and now we're able to operate on a far bigger basis to raise more funds for the centre.
"The people of the Fylde coast have supported us over the years. We have still got some supporters who were with us right from the beginning, and some of the people coming into the visitors centre have been coming for years, and their children have grown up.
"We're really excited to be able to reopen at such an important time. The charity has actually lost 20 per cent of its income over the Covid-19 period, so the visitors centre will be more important going forward than ever before."
Despite the challenges going forward, the Penny Farm visitors centre remains free to attend. Starting June 23, the centre will be open to visitors on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 11am until 4pm. Events will resume in July alongside facility hire.
The new ticket booking system can be found online at www.worldhorsewelfare.org/book-your-visit-to-penny-farm.