Hopes of new volunteers galloping to the aid of a heavy horse centre near Spilsby will help the sanctuary achieve a dream – to have an all-weather school to extend its season.
A desperate plea for support was made by Terena Bolam, the volunteer who runs the Northcotes Heavy Horse Centre, after suffering a year of ill-health.
She told the Standard they were living “hand to mouth” to feed the animals and needed help renovating some of the buildings, including the toilets and a portable cabin.
However, new support will mean Terena can concentrate on planning the activities that take place throughout the open season and getting funding for the all-weather school.
Terena said: “We run a Heavy Horse experience from April to October but struggle if the weather is bad because we can’t take the horses on the road.
“If we get an all-weather facility we could also open it up to the community for such activities as dog shows.
“This will also help us by bringing extra money in.”
Another new venture at the centre is birds of prey. Terena said: “We’d love an experienced falconer to come along and are desperate for funds to build new avaries.
“A builder has given us some wood but we need cement and other materials and someone to help build it.”
Once built, one of the occupants will be a Harris Hawk called Arthur, who went missing last year and was spotted in the garden of someone who used to be a volunteer.
New volunteers cannot fail to be inspired by some of the seasoned helpers.
Izzy Watson (20), of Old Leake, has volunteered at the centre since she was 13, when her mum was a volunteer. When she is not studying tree surgery or working at Aldi in Boston, she spends her spare time looking after the horses.
She said: “I first came with my mum and started doing volting and equestrian gymnastics.
“It feels like family here - such a unique, happy place.”
Terena also gets help from her husband Geoff, who is a tree surgeon, and son Kirk, who helps with the office work and designs the posters.
She said: “We are all volunteers and don’t get paid. Geoff’s job allows me to be here but he and Kirk are a huge help too.
“It would be fantastic to get more volunteers. They wouldn’t need to have experience with horses. There are so many other ways to get involved, such as maintenance or with the coffee shop and events.”
For more information, visit www.northcotehorses.com Anyone interested in helping can call Northcote Heavy Horse Centre on 01754 830286, email firstname.lastname@example.org.