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Disappointment as north-east horse sanctuary delays reopening due to Covid restrictions

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An Aberdeenshire horse welfare centre will be keeping its doors closed until changes are made to Covid restrictions.

Belwade Farm is one of four centres that were due to reopen to visitors next week after more than a year closed.

However, even though the World Horse Welfare centres had taken bookings from members of the public, a lack of changes in coronavirus restrictions has prompted a u-turn to their reopening plans.

Lisa Gardiner, centre promotions officer from Belwade Farm, said: “Myself and the rest of the Belwade team are really disappointed we can’t see everyone next week as we had hoped.

“Until we can welcome you back, we will continue to focus on rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming as many horses as possible.”

Everyone who has booked tickets to visit the rescue and rehoming centre, or ones in Lancashire, Norfolk and Somerset will be contacted shortly according to the rescue service. 

Regular updates can also be found on the charity’s main Facebook page and on each centre’s own Facebook pages, where the progress of some of the rescued horses can also be followed.

Closed to the public since March, staff have continued to rescue, care for, rehabilitate and rehome horses and ponies in need during that time despite a 20% drop in income over the pandemic.

UK director Tony Tyler added: “We were very much looking forward to having supporters back at our farms, so this is really disappointing, but the safety of our visitors and staff is paramount. We’ll be delighted to welcome everyone when restrictions are lifted, so we hope our visitors can bear with us and book a visit later in the summer.”

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