An equine welfare charity has called for support after it was devastated by flooding caused by Storm Babet. Bransby Horses near Lincoln says that more than 40 per cent of its land is now under water, which amounts to around 300 football pitches.
On the morning of Friday, October 20, the charity, which has 300 horses on site, received a two-hour warning from the Environment Agency to say they may deliberately flood the Till Washlands – an area which includes some of the horses’ grazing. Bransby Horses works closely with the Environment Agency to reduce flooding in Lincoln by using its grazing land as flood plains.
More than 70 horses were immediately removed from affected fields and another 30 were moved to safety over the weekend after the floodgates were opened. It is now possible that the charity’s ability to take in new rescues will be affected in the coming weeks and the full impact on their ability to operate is under review.
Victoria Elliot, head of estates at Bransby Horses, said: “Despite moving 100 horses to safety, many have had to be moved again following rising water levels. Looking at this week’s forecast we may see the current situation get worse and the impact will continue long after the water subsides and will almost certainly impact our winter grazing.”
Bransby Horses receives no funding or compensation for the flooding of its grazing land. The impact of the flooding will be an additional cost coming at an already difficult economic time for the charity.
Sally Banton, executive director of engagement and income generation, said: “At the moment weather permitting we are open to visitors. It was less than two weeks ago that we won the Best Small Visitor Attraction Award at the Destination Lincolnshire awards and we don’t want to disappoint our supporters, especially during the half term school holidays.
“Now more than ever we need to continue raising funds for the charity to help pay for the cost of the latest flooding. Our Café is open and our half term activities, including Pecan’s Pumpkin Patch, are in full swing. By visiting us you are helping to support us through this crisis and we’d like to say thank you to everyone who visits and supports us.”
It will only be over the coming weeks that the charity will know the full extent and cost of this crisis. A web page has been set up for anyone who would like to support Bransby Horses through this challenging period.