Flood hit Raystede takes new measures

Every day on the news in recent weeks we the heartbreaking images of homes, families, farm and livestock in terrible conditions because of the rain, high winds and flooding.

Closer to home at Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, the bad weather has had a severe impact on the centre and the birds and animals in their care.

Below are just a few of the problems caused:

1) Water pump going 24/7 to prevent our equine barn and stables from flooding;

2) Huge increase in food bill for donkeys, ponies and horses as our fields are waterlogged;

3) Ex battery and barn hens evacuated from sanctuary for first time in 20 years due to


4) Temporary buildings put up to shelter the hens;

5) High numbers of fallen trees damaging fences and enclosures;

6) Pathways washed away around lakes and buildings damaged which will cost thousands of pounds to repair

7) Huge drop in visitor numbers seeing income fall and impacting on rehoming.

With costs spiralling and income falling, they really need your help. They estimate that the cost of this wet weather emergency is already at £10,000 and with extra feed likely to be needed and increasing in price, it’s likely to be far higher as time goes on.

In addition to donations, lot of people have offered to volunteer their time and have asked if there are practical ways in which they can help too.

Raystede’s estate manager, Sharon Forbes, has a plan to raise the sides of their main lake using two extra layers of concrete and ballast filled sandbags. This will allow it to hold 25 percent more water than at present and reduce the likelihood of it bursting its banks in future and flooding the rest of the site.

On Saturday, March 29, they will be holding a volunteering day at the centre and there are lots of ways you can help. You can register to come along at www.raystede.org/emergency or call 01825 840747. Volunteers must be over 18.

Some of the jobs on the day will be to help fill and lay the sandbags; supervise the cement mixer; help with teas and coffees; and general cleaning.