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Hay shortage triggers additional £100k bill for Redwings amid plea for donations

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Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched an urgent appeal following a huge amount of money being spent on hay over the winter

With a hay shortage caused by extreme wet weather forcing the charity to spend an extra £100,000 on hay this year, Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched an urgent appeal for donations to help support the 1,500 rescued equines in its care. With heavy rain followed by snow, the charity’s had to use more of its hay supply than usual at this time of year.

Yields from Redwings’ own hay harvest were down 30% last year due to a very wet spring, with the national hay shortage pushing prices up by as much as 40%. The charity is completely funded by donations and, with Covid-19 forcing tightened budgets, the extra spend has put more pressure on the sanctuary.

Rachel Angell, Head of Norfolk Equine Operations, said: “With so many horses to look after on a daily basis, we plan our supplies carefully for each winter. However, the recent incredibly poor weather, lower yields and increasing prices have created a perfect storm where we find ourselves appealing for extra support.

“Conditions have been particularly difficult at our Norfolk sanctuary sites where the clay soil has left fields waterlogged for longer, delaying the arrival of the spring grass and forcing us to use more hay to make sure our horses stay healthy.

“Luckily we were able to find a supplier who could provide the right quantity and quality of hay but, with the pandemic having placed significant pressure on our budgets, we urge anyone who can to consider a donation to ensure we can purchase any further hay we may need and continue to provide specialist care for our rescued horses, now and into the future.”

For more information or to donate, visit redwings.org.uk

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