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NEWS - June 2019

Oh happy days! At last, the rain we had welcomed to grow the grass, finally dribbled to a halt. The sun came out, causing panic buying of sun cream and insect repellent, but best of all the grass grew greener and longer with each passing day as the sun grew warmer.

The sheep lay down in the cool grass, bellies full, eyes closed, some of them playing host to the crows and jackdaws who were busy pulling out bits of loose fleece with which to line their de-luxe, upmarket nests. (No sheep were injured during this blitz!)

Pigs wallowed in their muddy craters, Colin taking the prize for the best disguise, he emerged from his mud hole like the monster from the deep. Horses rested beneath the willow trees, goats, when we could find them, carried on with their normal occupation, which was climbing over fences to go nowhere. The cattle, as usual, took no notice of the weather, wandering about grazing until it was time to settle down, close the eyes and chew the cud. The Alpacas, when they weren't on the lookout for strangers, dogs and foxes to chase, stood out in the hot sun, absorbing vitamin D, essential for alpaca health. Geese and ducks splashed about in their little ponds and hens lay on their sides in their dust baths playing dead.

The staff and volunteers, on the other hand, steamed and dripped with sweat as they went about their work. At least they had the chance to get a good suntan at the same time?

steph and elliot ava

The sound of tractors out in the fields was music to our ears, it promised to be a good year for hay and straw, everything had grown well, all was good in our little world governed by the weather, at least we should have one worry less when going into this winter, of hay there was plenty, and cheaper hopefully than last year. As for our animals, rescued lambs Elliot and Ava have thrived and grown, very sadly we lost lovely little Angela, she died very suddenly with no warning. We think that she probably didn't receive colostrum when she was born, which leaves lambs very vulnerable to the sort of disease that takes them quickly. Angela died peacefully in her sleep, it upsets all of us to lose a lamb, the only consolation is that she had been cared for with love and respect in her short life.

percy

Percy the Roadhog continues to thrive and enjoy life to the hilt, such a friendly, happy young chap, his survival and rescue were nothing short of a miracle. There can't be many pigs who have been found comatose on a Motorway and lived to tell the tale.

baa

Baa the sheep, who shared the Conservatory with his rescuers until they realised it was best for him to realise he was a sheep, and not a woolly four legged member of the human race, is now sharing a paddock very happily with our little flock of Soay sheep. He seems to have forgotten his indoor life, lounging about sharing vegan food with his family, watching the rain pouring down from the comfort of his rug.

anna

Anna the sheep is another animal with a charmed life. Anna and her mum and sister were rescued by Helen, who lives in a village in the Forest of Dean. Mum had taken refuge in Helens garden for the winter, where she was fed and sheltered. Mum disappeared into the forest for a few days, returning later with her two lambs. As they grew she took them out into the forest to graze, returning one evening it was obvious that Anna had received a terrible injury. Her tail and the flesh surrounding it had been ripped away, her bowel had prolapsed and was exposed, it was a miracle that she hadn't died from the injury.

Helen managed to persuade their owner to sell them to her, rather than have Anna killed, which he reluctantly did after being offered a large sum of money, money Helen had been saving to buy a new carpet.

Anna has survived four operations to reconstruct her back end and give protection to the exposed bowel, she's looking good and is now out in a small paddock grazing with Mum. The other sister, tired of Anna getting all of the attention, has gone her own way and has made new friends.

Again this year we opened the gate to supporters to join us with Compassion In World Farmings campaign to draw attention to Stop Live Export Day. This appalling trade still exists despite all the evidence showing the stress and brutal treatment these animals are put through. We had a good gathering with like minded people, which also raised some funds to help us care for those animals we have here who escaped from this inhumane trade.

Now all we're waiting for are the shearers, our busiest day of the year, we'll all of us, sheep and people, be glad when it's all over!

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