#CoronaChronicles: Week 12

Following the Government’s recent announcement about the reopening of some animal attractions, we wanted to update you on our plans.

We very much welcome the news that zoos and safari parks in England will be able to reopen from Monday 15th June. However, unfortunately, our visitor centres do not fall within this category so we will not legally be in a position to reopen our doors next week.

We really can’t wait to welcome you all back. Having to close our visitor centres, including our cafes and gift shops, has significantly impacted on our ability to fundraise during the lockdown.

However, we must wait until we are legally permitted to do so, and in the meantime there are many careful considerations we need to make to ensure your safety, and that of our staff, before we decide whether it’s viable for us to take this next step forward.

One of the considerations is how we best help our visitors maintain social distancing while at our centres – this could be by limiting the numbers we admit or putting one-way systems in place, among other ideas – so we ask for your patience while we weigh-up these options.

Unlike a zoo, where animals are in enclosures, our visitors have the opportunity to touch and stroke our horses. While the horses are not at risk of contracting Covid-19, we are seeking advice on whether this interaction could increase the risk of potential infection spread amongst our visitors and what we could do to mitigate that.

But, fundamentally, we have to consider if it would be financially viable for our centres to open with fewer people coming through our doors. We currently do not charge entry fees and it is likely we will not be able to fully open our cafes and gift shops for some time.

For all of these reasons, we’re unfortunately not able to give you a reopening date at this moment but we thank you for your patience and understanding. Please keep an eye on our social media channels for further news about our visitor centres as and when we can bring it to you.

We are very fortunate to have other income streams, including our online gift shop and Adoption Scheme, so we would encourage anyone wishing to support us to look at these options as a way of helping our horses at this challenging time. Your support, however you have shown it during the lockdown, is enabling us to continue caring for our rescued horses and donkeys, now and into the future.

For a full rundown of all the ways you can get involved with Redwings and still enjoy your horsey fix, even while our visitor centres are closed, please click here.

If you are looking to rehome a horse, another great way you can support Redwings right now is to apply to our Guardianship Scheme. As explained in a previous edition of the #CoronaChronicles, we are slowly restarting our rehoming programme. Please click here to find out how we have adapted our practices to help our rescued horses find loving new homes at this time.

We are now accepting new applications on a small selection of unbacked project and non-ridden companion ponies. Please click here to see all the details!

Thank you #RedwingsAngels!

Click here to read last week’s #CoronaChronicles.