Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Cows at Barby Keel

Photo by Rhian Thomas

Sunday at the Sanctuary

On Sunday 11 August, Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary hosts their annual Open Day. From noon til five, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick, you can visit all the animals and birds who’ve been offered a safe haven by Barby Keel and her hard-working team of mainly volunteers, have some lunch, play the tombola, visit the various stalls and generally support a very worthy local cause.

Goat at Barby Keel

Photo by Rhian Thomas

It’s hard to believe now, but back in 1971, the embryonic Sanctuary was just open fields with a single caravan where Barby Keel lived and provided shelter for the occasional stray. Local St Leonardite, Dan the Farm Animal Manager, who works at The Sanctuary, explains what happened next.

“Soon the trickle of homeless animals became a deluge and Barby’s home became an official Sanctuary. She still shares this home and her life with over 500 creatures, which over the years have included cats, dogs, donkeys, horses, ponies, goats, sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, guinea-fowl, budgies, cockatiels, pigeons, peacocks, seagulls, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, ferrets, mink and chinchillas!!

Horse at Barby Keel

Photo by Rhian Thomas

“Barby is the driving force behind the project, caring for unwanted, hungry, abandoned and neglected animals, all of which have found their way to the love and comfort of the Sanctuary. Many have sad tales to tell. Here they have their hunger stilled (perhaps for the first time), are given a warm bed and much love. For some, new homes or foster owners are found, but for the old, infirm and unwanted, the Sanctuary is a permanent home.”


Photo by Rhian Thomas

Over £5,000 is needed monthly just to keep the Sanctuary afloat, collected via donations, legacies, sponsorship (£12 annual minimum), membership (£5 pa or £50 for life) and the shop on St Leonards Road, Bexhill.

On Sunday you can mingle with the animals and meet the new arrivals. Stalls include antiques, plants, bric-a-brac, refreshments, home-made produce and ices.


Photo by Rhian Thomas

Free car park via Watermill Lane, plus free mini-buses from Sidley Car Park, Bexhill Town Hall and Little Common Roundabout continuously from 11.30 am onwards.

A lovely day out in the countryside spent amongst cared-for animals and caring people… and you’ll know your attendance has made a valuable contribution to the Sanctuary’s perpetuation.



Photo by Rhian Thomas

Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary

Address : Freezeland Lane, Bexhill on Sea, TN39 5JD

Tel No : 01424 222032



Posted 15:04 Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 In: Home Ground

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