Hello lovely people! Good news at last!! There's light at the end of this VERY long, dark, wet and miserable tunnel!!! (Previous story links at the end of this section if you're not up to speed!)
After the worst 18 months we could ever have imagined, we FINALLY have the go ahead to reopen in March!!
We're so thankful to you all for sticking with us and still being here, and with this one last push we can finally get back to what we should be doing....providing a vital well-being sanctuary for people AND animals!! Oh how we have missed you all!
It will involve signposted access through the farm for now, which was not quite what we'd anticipated, but it will mean we can actually function properly for the first time since we moved here in September 2022 and I can't put the overwhelming relief into words!!
We're so grateful to Andrew and Rachel from the farm for coming up with a workable solution to the ongoing issues and allowing us this access, and we honestly cannot wait to get going!
So the preparations must begin! It's been a very tough time as you all know, not only on our team, but on the land.
Due to the lack of income since we moved, every penny we have raised has had to be used to feed and care for our furry family, meaning we have been unable to do the vital work on the Land which would have protected it from the many animal feet which have been running on it freely for so long now!
On top of this, the horrendously wet weather over the last few months has really taken its toll, it's been so relentless, I've never seen anything like it, and the lack of appropriate ground surfacing and drainage for all this time has resulted in us now living in a muddy boggy mess...certainly NOT the conditions we want to invite you all into, and most definitely NOT the conditions our precious babies should be subjected to on a daily basis.
When we moved here, there was good thick ground cover of spongy grass which was ideal...we put stable mats on top of this base in the tunnel and it held up reasonably well. Sadly in the 18 months since, the grass has been eaten to nothing, and the sheer amount of rain has destroyed any possibility of maintaining the ground without surfacing and drainage.
Our tunnel is now a swamp, the mats have sunk and the mud is just oozing over every single area, resulting in hours of back-breaking work daily to try to scrape a dry area for the horses to stand.
We desperately need to scrape the mud out, add drainage, and lay a solid surface for the mats. This will not only massively improve living conditions for the horses, but will mean we have a functional dry space for you lovely lot to make use of during bad weather...without it there is zero cover at all so visits on wet days are pretty awful!
Due to the lack of grass, we are feeding multiple round bales to the horses every week, but we have to put them direct on the grass as we have no hardstanding at all, so every place we put a fresh bale causes a huge area of bog to be created within a few hours as they stand and eat...we're running out of non swampy spaces and our forever home is being destroyed!!
Not only is that hugely unpleasant for us to wade through daily (losing boots and falling over is way too commonplace for my liking atm lol!), but it's really bad for the ground, and awful for the horses. We urgently need to add an area of hardstanding for feeding the bales on to eliminate these issues, as well as provide a safe space for visitors to hang out with the horses when they're eating (which tbh is most of the time at present!)
The living areas round the wee ones shelters are also nothing but mud, though we've managed to create a single pathway using the mud control slabs from our last fundraiser which makes a huge difference and means they can at least get from A to B without wading through sludge! Once we have surfaced the tunnel, this will free up more slabs to also improve the areas for the lil ones.
As our access will for now be through the farm and not yet over the bridge as anticipated, we will also need to create a small car parking area at the top end of our site before we can welcome you back, as well as a surfaced path leading from there to the activity spaces through the swamp!
By making these vital improvements now, it will mean we can rest the bulk of the field, allowing it to recover before it's completely and permanently destroyed, it will improve the animals' quality of life, and it will mean we have safe, pleasant and functional areas for people to be when they visit...woo hoo!!!
Of course, none of these improvements come cheap, and as we are still not open we are still struggling to cover daily expenses at this time, as we have been for over 18 months already. But without these groundworks, we really can't safely start generating footfall or income...its a real catch 22!! We have quotes for the work, and our awesome groundworks team standing by to begin ASAP, but we can't go ahead without some money :(
As you know, I hate doing this, but I have no choice and I'm so sorry but we're forced to ask you guys, again, just one more time...please, can you help us get ready to relaunch?
You've got us this far, and I can't express how grateful we are...I'm begging you not to give up on us now, we are SO CLOSE to everything we've all been waiting for, now is the time, and we simply cannot give up after everything we have been through to get to this stage.
Every penny really does help and means so much to us, I know times are tough and I honestly hate to ask again but we literally can't do it without you. Spreading the word and sharing our appeal is another hugely important way to really help us, whether you can or can't contribute to the pot, you might be the one to reach someone who can?!
It's a short deadline on this fundraiser, only 2 weeks, as we need to get moving on the works if we are to open next month.
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for sticking with us and supporting us this far, its all gonna be worth it and we'reso nearly there...together we can do it!!!
Much love, Cath, Ronnie and the furry gang xxx
* Full details on our move and the last 18 months can be found in our previous Crowdfunders below for anyone who may not know the full story x
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/harmony-fields-winter-warriors (from winter 2022)