Monday, 21 June 2021

Art auction in aid of animal sanctuary

AN online art auction is to be held by the Watlington Hill Farm Sanctuary to raise funds.

The not-for-profit organisation helps children and adults reconnect with nature, animals and wildlife thorough different kinds of outdoor activities.

The auction, from June 1 to 8, will feature paintings, photographs and drawings by local artists donated to the sanctuary.

Founder Lindsay Howard-Dean said that an identical auction held last year raised more than £1,000.

“We also did a different auction at Christmas, which was again extremely well supported and we raised about £800,” she said. “The money goes directly into the care of the animals.

“We have artists doing portraits of pets as well as beautiful oil paintings and photographs; they are getting really creative.”

Ms Horward-Dean said the farm usually held open days in June but these would not happen this year because of the covid-19 restrictions.

There were usually about 300 visitors who got to see the farm’s cows, sheep, goats and donkeys at their “forever” home.

Ms Howard-Dean said: “We hope we can finally re-open in July; we are waiting to see how it all unfolds before deciding on a date.

“We have been doing Zoom calls but it’s not the same.

“The main thing for us is getting people back to the farm to interact with the animals.

“We know people have been struggling with their mental health and being outdoors and with animals will help. The contact with animals often rekindles childhood memories and feelings and we know that is really precious.

“There are so many lessons that humans can learn from animals, for example, that what matters is how we feel in the moment.

“When people actually walk with the animals they find it really inspiring and calming.”

The farm is still accepting donations of art for the auction. For more information, join the Neigh (Nature Enabling Interdependence Growth & Happiness) online auction arts & crafts group on Facebook or visit https://neigh.org.uk

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