AN animal sanctuary near Tenbury has held its first open day.

Visitors to the Goodheart Animal Sanctuary were able to learn more about their work and get up close to some of the lucky residents.

Based in Milson, near Tenbury, Goodheart is one of a handful of farm animal sanctuaries in the UK. Despite launching earlier this year, it’s already taken in over 220 rescued, abused and abandoned animals.

The Open Day aimed to raise much-needed funds as well as encourage a better understanding of the plight of farmed animals.

“The demand for cheap animal products places a huge burden on farming and of course the animals themselves, often leading to cruelty in the production line and the animals being treated as no more than commodities,” said Dave Bourne, Manager of the Sanctuary.

“Take our group of rescued sheep for instance. Despite having years left to live, these gentle girls are what’s known in the farming industry as ‘cull ewes.’

Like all commercial sheep, their life ends once they stop being profitable. No longer fit to bear further lambs, they were due to be sent for slaughter.”

Over 900 million animals are farmed every year in the UK and only a handful of sanctuaries exist to offer those in need a safe home.

“Goodheart was founded to provide a forever home for these animals, and to campaign for their better treatment,” added Mr Bourne.

“We also want to encourage people to get to know the animals’ individual characters and appreciate where their food comes from.”

The Open Day included a number of events and activities encouraging engagement between visitors and the animals. Dave Bourne and his team gave guided tours of the sanctuary. Visitors also had the opportunity to feed the animals, as well as sponsor their ongoing care.

Nadine Currie, attended the event along with daughter, Aria.

“Getting to know the animals and interacting with them has been a real eye opener,” she said.

“You quickly realise they all have individual personalities. It’s definitely made me rethink how I view farm animals and inspired me to do more to help.”

To find out more about Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries or to make a donation, visit

Caption: Aria Parslow, aged 10 with some of the rescued farm animals