Our Journey

Since 2005, the British Hen Welfare Trust has been saving and rehoming commercial laying hens throughout the United Kingdom. Working closely with leaders in the egg industry, the BHWT designed and developed the existing rehoming model, and to date we have rehomed over 800,000 hens.

December 1979

Jane Howorth watches a Panorama documentary, The World About Us; Down on the Factory Farm, about the living conditions of caged commercial laying hens, inspiring her to dedicate her future to helping hens.


April 1995

Jane moves to Devon and saves her first hens from slaughter, including one very special hen, Vicky.

Jane Howorth Westcountry Retirement Home

October 2003

Jane places an advert in a local paper offering people the chance to rehome hens, under the name Westcountry Retirement Home & Re-homing Centre for Battery Hens. She receives thousands of responses.

April 2005

Jane officially launches the Battery Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), the country’s first dedicated hen charity.

Jamie's Fowl Dinners

January 2008

Jane appears on Jamie’s Fowl Dinners, the Channel 4 programme featuring Jamie Oliver and the truth about the chicken industry, sparking a surge in interest in rehoming hens.

March 2010

The charity is re-named the British Hen Welfare Trust.

BHWT 250,000th Hen

31 December 2011

Laying hens were taken out of their barren battery cages for the last time and the BHWT rehomed its 250,000th hen.

1 January 2012

The use of barren battery cages is banned across the United Kingdom.

Ian Farrar, Sam Morgan, Gaynor Davies

October 2015

The BHWT is named the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Charity of the Year for 2015/2016.

BHWT 500,000th Hen

January 2016

The BHWT rehomes its 500,000th hen, called Dee.

Jane Howorth MBE 31.12.15 SQ

May 2016

Jane accepts her MBE, awarded in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Just Giving Awards Credit Oliver Dixon

January 2018

The BHWT is named the JustGiving Charity of the Year.

BHWT's 750,000th Hen

December 2019

The BHWT’s 750,000th hen is saved from slaughter and wings her way to a free-range retirement in Northumberland.

February 2020

The BHWT launches a funding scheme for ground-breaking research to improve pet hen health.

BHWT Devon 500th Rehoming Day

Coming Soon...

Our new ‘Hen Central’ Devon Centre will be open to the public! The Centre will house our hen-centric hen hospital as well as ultra-modern meeting rooms to hold online and personal hen-keeping courses for beginners and experienced keepers alike. Watch this space!

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