ACROSS the county people are wrapping up warm for the bleak January weather, but some residents need a little extra care when winter comes around.

Each and every year, inhabitants of Ferne Animal Sanctuary, near Chard, gear up for the festive period with volunteers working around the clock to get them ready.

The Ferne family, which includes horses cows and goats, will go through around 2,000 bales of hay every winter, and require more care from the sanctuary’s team of more than 100 volunteers.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Among the animals at Ferne Animal Sanctuary are Toffee and Minty, two horses who were rescued after being trapped in stables for three years and left severely malnourished.

They have recovered since last April, and are now socialising with other horses and ready to find a new home.

Nikki Haddock, animal care manager at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, said: “The poor boys were traumatised to be brought out into the light and the big wide world but they had no strength to put up an objection.

“We were able to load them into the transporter with the help of sweets we brought for the journey, hence their new names: Toffee and Minty.”

Chard & Ilminster News:

Not all of the sanctuary’s animals are rehomed, and those that are always find a place near to Chard so Ferne’s teams can be on hand to help then when needed.

Some animals are kept at Ferne because they have complex medical needs and others, such as rabbits, stay at the sanctuary as they will receive the best care and most space to roam there.

The Chard-based charity’s current fundraising project sees them hoping to build a new home for the site’s swans in case there is a bird flu outbreak and the swans need to be kept inside.

The charity is also planning to embark on a large project to build new dog kennels on land which has been reclaimed from a stagnant lake.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a registered charity and relies on the generous support of the public and dedicated volunteers to continue its vital work.

Ferne Animal Sancuary has been caring for unwanted and abandoned animals for more than 75 years.

To donate to the sanctuary or for more information call 01460 65214 or visit the Ferne website at or email