The expanded facilities of star attraction World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in the Northwest of England has received a royal stamp of approval at the official opening of its redeveloped visitor centre as the charity highlights its work in the area, and overseas.
Established in 2001, Penny Farm, one of the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres across Britain, has long been a destination of choice for tourists and Lancashire families seeking fun, food, activities and education with rescue horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Now their expanded facilities will enable so many more visitors to enjoy the company of these amazing animals who seek new homes – and have so much to teach us through their heart-breaking stories of rags to riches transformation – and the charity’s work helping horses in the UK and far afield in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Addressing the 60 guests who attended the opening, World Horse Welfare President HRH The Princess Royal said:
“This [event] does give us the opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved here … and to understand how horses are still very much a working animal in many parts of the world. For World Horse Welfare that extended programme of education in farriery and saddley and nutrition is so important to those who still rely on them for their livelihoods.
“Sometimes you say to people – ‘people still work with horses’ – and they don’t understand why that can be true. I’m sure that here it is made very obvious, particularly with the projects in Haiti which make such a difference to those who really do depend on their horses and donkeys for their livelihoods.”
World Horse Welfare is currently appealing for donations to its ‘Helping Horse Owning Communities in Haiti’ appeal, which will be matched pound for pound by the UK government if received before 17 September.
“The understanding we get from making sure that they are properly trained in their care… also reminds us that there are people here who have lost part of that knowledge, and we need to be ready to support those who don’t manage here in the UK.
“This visitor centre has always been important but now it can play an even bigger role … to have more space to help the understanding, fundraising, education, training and seminars which are part of extending the knowledge that is gained through the staff working at Penny Farm.
“Their ability to change the life of those animals who come here in a really poor state – who may be unlikely to survive – to living a life which has real value not just in themselves, but to those who have them as rehomed horses or as an interest to those visiting here. This place will add a huge amount to what Penny Farm can achieve.
“They start as really hard stories, but they have the potential to have really good endings.”
Penny Farm is located on Preston New Road just outside of Blackpool and is open every Wednesday, weekend and Bank Holiday from 11am to 4pm.