When the existing trustees took over the running of the sanctuary in 2004, the site was dilapidated, scruffy and very unsafe. Since then much effort has been put into improving the site, both for the animals and our visitors, and we’re pleased to say that today we have an attractive, welcoming environment, where you can visit and spend time with the animals in safety and comfort.
Our visitor centre opened in 2012 and this enables us to run lots of group activities and to provide refreshments and information for visitors when it’s open to the public at weekends.
We’re continually improving the sanctuary, with our most recent developments being a wheelchair-friendly walkway to the top fields and improved signage to help you find your way around. We’re also introducing more fun activities and things to do while you’re here – so pop in anytime we’re open (everyday 10am-3pm; 2pm in Winter) and see what we have to offer.
Recognition by others
Hope Pastures was selected as a Bramham Horse Trials’ Official Charity for 2017, in recognition of the ongoing contibution the sanctuary makes to equine welfare.
NEWC specifies extremely high standards of equine care before any organisation can become a member. Membership provides an assurance to both our supporters and the industry that horse welfare is the priority at Hope Pastures.
Hope Pastures was selected as a BETA International ‘chosen charity’ for 2015-16, further evidence of industry support for the work done at the sanctuary.
2015 Sophie Kendrick was nominated for the Petplan Animal Charity Employee of the Year Award and Hope Pastures was nominated for the Animal Charity Team of the Year Award.
2014 and 2015 Hope Pastures was nominated for the Child Friendly Leeds Awards.
February 26th 2010 We were very proud when one of our longest-serving volunteers, Jim O’Neil, was the winner of the Leeds’ Year of Volunteering Environments, Parks & Wildlife Award. Jim comes to the sanctuary every morning to help the yard staff water the horses and deal with the odd jobs around the place. The wild birds that visit Hope Pastures also appreciate all that Jim does as he tops up all the bird feeders everyday through the long winter months.
Well done Jim, you deserve it.
December 2007 Sophie Kendrick, our yard manager, was selected by the BEF (British Equestrian Federation) as one of 7 finalists in the Groom of the Year competition. Sophie was recognised for the work that she had done over the years. She deserves to be nominated for such a prestigious award in recognition of her dedication and commitment to animal welfare. Sophie said ” the part of the job I love most is seeing the horses get back to their full health”. Well done Sophie!!
What our suporters and donors say:
- Joanne McLoughlin Hope Pastures do an amazing job they are inundated with horses, ponies and donkeys that need their help, our community would be lost without them. They are vital to help to educate our children with their amazing pony days .
- Rachael Greenland Hope Pastures do amazing work. What they encounter on a regular basis is heartbreaking, and they work so hard to rehabilitate these wonderful gentle animals.
- Karen Bradshaw A fantastic charity
- Angela Fairham I rehomed Finn from Hope Pastures, and was overwhelmed by how well-adjusted, happy, content and loved he and the rest of the equines at Hope are: it really is tantamount to how caring and dedicated the Hope Pastures team are.
- Ann-marie Brown A hard working charity
- Alison Hinchliffe Fabulous organisation doing much needed work. Xx
- Louise Raynor Hope Pastures is an amazing charity that helps horses and donkeys, without them I don’t know what would happen to all the lost souls
- Emma Stone Hope Pastures do brilliant things for the horses and ponies and donkeysx
- Jennifer Dickinson Hope Pastures is an amazing charity, working so hard on very limited resources.
- Hannah Blackett A fantastic team of caring people making a real difference. Xxx
- Caroline Littlewood A small charity that does brilliant work.
- Tracey Brewer Amazing people looking after horses abused by the not so amazing
A selection from over 340 fantastic comments made by our supporters, donors and volunteers in a Facebook vote at Christmas 2014. Made us ‘well up’ to be honest – thank you to everyone for all your kind words.
Wildlife at the sanctuary
Here at Hope Pastures we’re all great animal lovers and this extents beyond domestic pets to wildlife too. We count ourselves really lucky to have the opportunity to maintain our land in a wildlife friendly way and also to find ways to actively encourage wildlife within the city so that many more can thrive and prosper.
We don’t use pesticides on our fields and we maintain trees and dry stone walls so that they create permanent safe habitats for all types of wildlife. We’ve also planted hundreds of new trees and shrubs over the last few years, as well as a garden area with lots of plants which attract butterflies and bees in the summer.
We’re lucky to have one volunteer, Jim who feeds the wild birds all through the winter and this keeps a variety or birds happy. Some of the birds at the sanctuary include:
- Song Thrushes
- Red Kite
- Blue Tits
- Great Tits
The swallows rear several broods of chicks every year. More unusual birds for the city are our lone pheasant, a pair of red kites and more recently a pair of kestrels. These have become quite brave as we often lead the horses within a few feet of where they are perched. We’ve noticed that these birds of prey have arrived to hunt our resting land, where the grass has grown long with a variety of insects and rodents thriving in it.
Mammals regularly seen include field voles, field mice, moles, weasels, shrews and even roe deer in the big horses’ field and in the woods behind the ponies’ field. Bats regularly come to feed at dusk on the insects and flies around our manure heap.
Since we began resting sections of our fields we have seen wildflowers flourishing and in turn this has provided the perfect space for grasshoppers, ladybirds, dragonflies,and a huge variety of other insects to live happily.
Further down the ponies’ fields, near the bec,k there are even newts living happily.
Thisdevelopment of wildlife on the site is something we encourage and we have already purchased several bat boxes and bird boxes for use on our newly redeveloped outbuildings.