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South Warwickshire animal charity makes food appeal after grass is turned to dust

AN animal rescue centre has been left at “crisis point” after the heatwave turned its grazing fields brown and dusty.

The Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS), located in Wolverton, said without the grass it was now reliant on hay to feed its animals – a move that has seen its food bill double to £1,200 a week.

The heatwave has seen fields turn to dust. (58658670)
The heatwave has seen fields turn to dust. (58658670)

Carole Webb, 78, who founded the FARS around 30 years ago, said: “We are reaching crisis point and have found ourselves in a desperate situation.

“The heat turned our fields brown and dusty within matter of weeks.

“We have never known the land to be this dry and with over 400 rescued sheep to feed, this is becoming a terrible worry. We simply don't have the funds to supplement fresh grass for hay.”

The sanctuary, which has been at Wolverton for 22 years and cares for about 450 animals o60 acres, is getting through about 40 bales of hay a week.

The heatwave has seen fields turn to dust. (58658672)
The heatwave has seen fields turn to dust. (58658672)

The heatwave has also added further costs in order to care for the animals’ wellbeing, such as having to buy fans to put in barns and cool jackets to ensure animals were not overheating.

The impact of the hot weather is the latest blow for FARS, which has been hit by increases in prices for food and electricity. And this was after coming through the Covid pandemic, which impacted on its ability to fundraise and cover the costs of caring for the animals.

Since the end of Covid restriction, FARS has held open days to help raise money and is well supported by volunteers.

While there is little worry that the charity will not bounce back from its grass problems, public donations are needed to help the sanctuary through the tough times.

“Every single donation, no matter the size, will be a huge help and will make a difference to the lives of our rescued woollies,” Carole added.

Sheep have been bought cooling jackets. (58658668)
Sheep have been bought cooling jackets. (58658668)

The charity can accept various donations, including food such as fruit or vegetables for the pigs (specifically apples and bananas), bread for the pigeons, rich tea biscuits for the sheep, and cat food/treats for the cats.

Contributions of hay as well as money would also be welcome.

Longer term, there is hope of some much-needed rain. Until then Carole is confident that, despite their financial difficulties, “the animals will be fed and cared for”.

FARS cares for farm animals, many of which have been rescued from harmful environments, so that they can live happily and healthily.

To help or to find out more, visit www.farmanimalrescuesanctuary.co.uk/ways-to-help.

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