PICTURES: Animal shelter launches urgent appeal after being battered by storms

Photos show the extent of the damage caused to Raystede by successive storms
Photos show the extent of the damage caused to Raystede by successive storms

THESE photos show the extent of the damage caused to an animal rescue centre by successive storms.

Storm Franklin, the third named storm in just a week, brought renewed weather warnings, just days after Storm Eunice caused chaos in Sussex shortly after Storm Dudley hit.

Stephanie Smith, chief executive of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Lewes, said the shelter had been “battered” by high winds and heavy rain.

The Argus: Damage to the poultry shed at Raystede Animal Rescue Centre
The Argus: Damage to the poultry shed at Raystede Animal Rescue Centre

Damage to the poultry shed at Raystede Animal Rescue Centre

She said that while the 43 animals in Raystede’s care were safe, the site itself has suffered “significant damage”, with parts of it currently “too dangerous” to access.

Stephanie said: “It is very challenging here at Raystede with all the flying debris and falling boughs and trees.

“A considerable number of trees have fallen since Friday and many others are seriously weakened.

The Argus: A tree uprooted at Raystede near Lewes
The Argus: A tree uprooted at Raystede near Lewes

A tree uprooted at Raystede near Lewes

“Heavy rain on Saturday saturated the earth and today with every strong gust of wind, we can see some of the conifers in the Sanctuary actually moving in the ground - they will need to come down as soon as we can safely enter the area.”

Staff and volunteers have working to clear debris and make repairs.

Many of the animals cared for at Raystede were “frightened” by the storm, and some were “lucky” to survive the damage.

The Argus: Raystede suffered
The Argus: Raystede suffered

Raystede suffered "significant damage" in the storm

Stephanie said: “All the ducks, poultry, turkeys and geese were fully enclosed before the storm.

“A large tree crashed down and missed the shed with ducks and turkeys by a few feet, it has smashed the fence instead.

“We need to repair the enclosures as soon as possible and allow the birds some light and fresh air – this will be our priority tomorrow.

“Our education yurt has been severely damaged, but we have been able to anchor it to hopefully stop it blowing into the rabbitry.

“One of our donkey sheds has suffered roof damage.”

The center is now appealing to animal lovers to donate and help with its rebuilding efforts.

Stephanie said: “Our limited resources are stretched. We have had to close to visitors over what would have been a very busy half term weekend, resulting in significant loss of income.”

Please donate online at www.raystede.org/storm-appeal

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