A LOCAL animal rescue centre has launched an appeal for public support in order to raise funds for a Covid-secure parking area for visitors and volunteers.

Dean Farm Sanctuary in Chepstow is looking to raise £5,500 to develop a designated safe parking area so that it can reopen its gates for families, schools, colleges, local businesses and community groups.

The trust that runs sanctuary says it needs to purchase 300 metres of fencing and reinforced grass mesh to be able to build the car park and is appealing to local people to help with the fundraising effort.

Dean Farm Trust was founded in 2004 by Mary Frankland, who established the sanctuary after becoming ‘all too aware’ of how billions of animals are intensively farmed each year, and of the ‘immense and extensive abuse’ animals are subjected to in the entertainment, research and sport industries.

The sanctuary moved to its site in Chepstow in 2016 and is currently home to almost 200 rescued animals, including horse Pudding and her mum Treacle (pictured).

Pudding was rescued by the trust in 2013 when she was two years old, while Treacle was cared for at another sanctuary, Horseworld, and was re-homed after being rescued in very poor condition when she was in foal.After staff heard that Treacle was back at Horseworld in 2019, mother and daughter were reunited at Dean Farm and the pair now enjoy running around together in the sunshine.

As well as maintaining the sanctuary, Mary dedicates her time to raising awareness and promoting compassionate living to help reduce animal suffering.

The trust has provided some ideas on how local people can help raise funds, including making a £10 donation plus gift aid which would pay for one metre of fencing and reinforced ground mesh.

Other ideas include organising a socially-distanced vegan family BBQ in your garden and collecting donations, clearing out your winter wardrobe or selling your unwanted items and donating the proceeds, and asking your school or workplace to host a fundraising activity.

Fundraisers are also encouraged to ask their employers about matched giving, through which many have double the amount they have raised, whether raising money in the office or outside of work.

The trust is also suggesting that fundraisers live stream their activity, making sure to add Dean Farm Trust into the post so that a ‘donate’ button will be visible to those who view the video.

A spokesperson for the sanctuary said that raising the amount needed would be “quite a challenge, but following such a difficult year of isolation for everyone, including our much-loved residents, we know with public support, with the help of our local communities, we can do this!

“We are looking forward to re-opening Dean Farm Animal Sanctuary this summer for everyone to visit and experience the absolute privilege of meeting our wonderful residents, whilst enjoying acres of beautiful green rolling countryside, and leaving with the most amazing feeling of wellbeing.

“Dean Farm Sanctuary is for all to enjoy, please help us to make this possible!”

To donate to the sanctuary’s cause, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/visitor-access.