#CoronaChronicles 2021: Week Nine

Is it too early to say it feels like spring is on the way?

As well as being a sanctuary to our rescued horses and donkeys, did you know that many of our sites provide a peaceful home for a wide variety of wildlife?

Visitors to Redwings Mountains, in Angus, Scotland, are often gifted with the sight of red squirrels and mountain birds, while those who take a walk around the nature ponds at Redwings Aylsham in Norfolk might even catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or an otter!

Witnessing the woodlands, hedgerows and waterways springing back to life after such a wet and cold winter is a wonderful sign of the change of seasons… as is the arrival of some new residents of the feathered variety.

This week we spotted this adorable family of Egyptian geese goslings enjoying a snooze at our headquarters in Norfolk. These beautiful geese return every year to raise their young and we always look forward to seeing them!

In fact, the lovely Lizzie who works on our Reception puts out special feed for them to ensure they have enough food during these colder months.

Open green spaces and fresh air are just some of the great features of our visitor centres - alongside our horses, of course!

Following the news last week that outdoor attractions, such as zoos and sanctuaries, in England may be able to open their doors again from 12th April, we’re currently drawing up our own reopening plans.

These are progressing well, but – as you can appreciate – we’re taking our time to carefully consider the safest ways to welcome back our supporters. This means we’re unable to confirm a reopening date just yet, but we will update you as soon as we can.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on our website and social media channels where we’re continuing to post daily images and stories from across the Sanctuary throughout the lockdown. If you’re an avid follower, you may have seen the story of 17-year-old Welsh pony Boris, who lives at Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire.

We shared photos of Boris being fitted with new imprint shoes by the farrier. These unique thermoplastic shoes are moulded perfectly to his hooves every six weeks to give his delicate feet some extra support. He’s a very good boy and always stands so still during his farrier visits.

This is just one example of the attention to detail our teams pour into the care plans of every one of our rescued residents to ensure they can live the happiest and most fulfilling lives possible at the Sanctuary.

We’ve also been sent this photo of 31-year-old Native cross pony Matthew who was snapped by his carers enjoying a late-night feed at Redwings Caldecott in Norfolk during last month’s snow.

Being an older gent, Matthew’s teeth aren’t as good as they used to be which can make grazing a little tricky. So we make sure he maintains his weight and receives all the nutrients he needs by giving him extra feeds – and in winter he can receive up to four feeds per day, including one at night!

No matter what the weather or time of day, our teams are on hand to make sure those who need specialist care, especially at this time of year, stay healthy and warm.

We’re only able to give Matthew and his friends the extra attention they need thanks to your support. In fact, this week we celebrated you helping us raise £1,000 through the Redwings Feed Run challenge! This, alongside a generous donation of £2,500 from feed manufacturer Spillers, has helped us to provide nutritious feeds for our rescued residents throughout this winter.

However, there’s still plenty of time for you to take part! We’re challenging you to complete 60 minutes of exercise and then head over to our JustGiving page to donate £10. You can also nominate a friend to take on the challenge too!

One very grateful little pony is 32-year-old New Forest pony Ruby, the oldest resident living at Redwings Ada Cole in Essex. Like Matthew, Ruby’s poor teeth means she unable to eat hay so she enjoys a delicious feed of senior mash soaked in warm water instead!

As you can see in this lovely clip, she absolutely loves it – and we couldn’t think of a more heart-warming way to end this week’s blog.

Thank you #RedwingsAngels

To read last week's #CoronaChronicles, please click here.