A NORTH Devon charity last week launched its fundraising appeal to build the UK’s first dedicated hen welfare and education centre.
The British Hen Welfare Trust, in Rose Ash near South Molton, re-homes ex-commercial laying hens and educates the public about how they can make a difference to hen welfare.
The charity had a planning application to build the centre at its base in Rose Ash, known as Hen Central, approved by North Devon Council in October and hopes to start building as early as spring 2017.
Around £250,000 is needed to build the centre and the charity is appealing to its supporters and kind-hearted members of the public to chip in for chickens and help raise enough money for building to start. There is still £100,000 left to raise.
Charity founder Jane Howorth MBE said: “The charity is on the brink of transformation, and something I once dreamed about will hopefully soon be coming true. Not only will this centre vastly improve our current re-homing operation in North Devon, it will also allow us to expand our education work out to local schools in the area.
“As well as schools, we will be looking to invite businesses, vet nurses and individuals to the centre for educational talks and training once the centre is in place. Needless to say we are all very excited here at Hen Central about getting the building work underway, and we hope the North Devon public will get behind the charity and support us.”
The charity’s new centre will be split in two halves – one for re-homing which will include a vet training area, a hen hospital, two coops for the birds and a storage area.
The other half will be a dedicated space for re-homers to ‘talk chickens’ and enjoy tea and free range cake whilst waiting to collect their hens; this multi-purpose space will also be used for holding talks and training.
A dedicated parking area will surround the centre and will include spaces for coach parking.
To make a donation towards the centre simply visit www.bhwt.org.uk or call 01884 860084, and remember to let your friends and family know you have donated by using #chipinforchickens on social media.
The British Hen Welfare Trust has been re-homing ex-commercial hens, which would otherwise be sent to slaughter, since 2005 and has so far re-homed more than 550,000 of the birds.