Stables blown away by winds

PUBLISHED: 10:41 04 January 2007 | UPDATED: 21:30 29 May 2010

Sara was shocked and numb by the devastation - Pic: Michael Boyton

Sara was shocked and numb by the devastation - Pic: Michael Boyton

THE Willow Tree Horse Sanctuary in Finchingfield was a scene of devastation after it was hit by a hurricane on Saturday. Sara Ross, who runs the sanctuary with her husband Alan, said: It was about 6pm and Alan and I were out in the fields when the wind

THE Willow Tree Horse Sanctuary in Finchingfield was a scene of devastation after it was hit by a 'hurricane' on Saturday.

Sara Ross, who runs the sanctuary with her husband Alan, said: "It was about 6pm and Alan and I were out in the fields when the winds hit. It was like a hurricane. It sounded like a jet aeroplane engine."

Mr and Mrs Ross realised something bad had happened, but couldn't see because it was dark.

"We brought the horses in as quickly as we could but some of the stables had just disappeared. We put as many horses into the barns as we could but there simply wasn't enough room to fit all of them in," said Mrs Ross.

The couple could see that much of the fencing in the fields had been broken leaving dangerous jagged posts sticking out of the ground.

Mrs Ross says she didn't sleep that night as this fencing had to be made good to avoid any of the horses that couldn't be put into stables from being hurt.

"When the dawn came we got our first glimpse of the extent of the damage, I just thought 'Oh my goodness, no!' We were both shocked and numb."

There was debris everywhere. The wind had lifted the missing stables right out of their fields and sent them crashing up to 40 yards away where they lay smashed.

People helped them clear up the debris and fix the broken fences on Sunday.

The sanctuary, which runs under a charity started by Pamela Townsend BEM, gives homes to abandoned and abused horses and cares for about 40 horses at any one time, nursing them back to health before finding them new homes.

There is still a huge amount of rebuilding work to be done and until new stables can be built, some of the horses will have to stay out in the fields without shelter.

"The simple fact is that there's just so much to do, I don't know where to start," she said. "We desperately need all sorts of help.

"We need people to raise money for us; raffles, sponsored walks, coffee mornings, anything. You can even sponsor one of our horses, and that way you can come and visit it. We were hoping we could get some businesses to sponsor a stable and we'll put a plaque up with their name on it.

"Once we've raised some money we can then buy the materials to build new stables.

"We also need people who can give us some of their time and skills to help us rebuild the things destroyed by the winds.

Anyone who wants to offer support to the sanctuary, should call Mrs Ross on 01371 810490 or 07956 229683.

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