Head keeper Megan Whitele
Head keeper Megan Whitele

WETHERIGGS Animal Rescue Centre has reopened to visitors after a successful trial. 

he centre, on the A66 near Greta Bridge, will initially open three days a week, Fri-days to Sundays. As a trial the centre opened on Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5.

Head keeper Megan Whitely said: “There were about seven families who come in on Saturday. It was quiet but manageable. We had a system in place for people to queue but it was nice that people came in a steady stream through the day so there was no queue. “We have to juggle to make sure all the volunteers are safe and the visitors are safe.”

Only three volunteers are working during the opening hours from noon until 4pm to ensure social distancing can take place and a one-way sys-tem has been put in place in the main barn where fowl, pigs, goats, sheep and rabbits are housed.

Ms Whitely said: “People seemed to be happy to be back and have been asking when they can come back and support us.”

Sadly, government guide-lines mean that people can-not feed the animals and some of the craft activities have had to be put on hold. However, people can still visit the main barn and the paddocks where there are donkeys alpacas and various farm animals. The shelter is home to 1,200 animals and Ms Whiteley said it would not have been possi-ble to feed them all without the donations that had been made throughout the Covid-19 lockdown.

She added: “People have been so generous. We have had loads of feed and bed-ding. Tesco has been delivering three times a week and Sainsbury’s has always supported us. We have had a lot of different people who donate regularly.”

Ms Whiteley said the shelter hopes to host an open day in the near future to thank the people who have supported them and to allow visitors to see the more exotic animals such as meerkats, reptiles, birds of prey, foxes and parotts.