A SOMERSET animal charity fighting for its future will host an event celebrating wildlife and all it has to offer on Bank Holiday Monday (May 27).

Ferne Animal Sanctuary, which is based near Chard and has a shop in Fore Street, Wellington, recently announced an urgent fundraising drive due to rising costs.

The charity, which cares for more than 300 animals on its 72-acre Blackdown Hills site, needs to raise around £100,000 to combat rising costs over the next four months.

The financial crisis could spell an end to the charity so supporters are urged to support this event which is being held to boost funds vital to its its future.

Kevan Hodges, chief executive officer at Ferne Animal Sanctuary, said: "We're excited to invite the local community and beyond to our first May Celebration event, dedicated to delivering wildlife education, exploration, and enjoyment for all the family.

“Join us this May bank holiday as we celebrate our countryside surroundings and the animals that inhabit it. Every ticket sold is a life-changing chance for the animals we care for."

The event will host a range of immersive experiences across the sanctuary site and the line-up includes a variety of engaging animal activities and countryside adventures, designed to educate, entertain, and inspire visitors of all ages. 

Curious creature lovers can look forward to animal activities at the Creative Corner, such as exploring the sanctuary’s diverse pond life, including baby newts, pond snails, beetle larvae, and water boatmen.

The Creative Corner will also be leading guided wildlife walks for exclusive insight into various wildlife species that call Ferne Animal Sanctuary home, including a tour of the bug hotels, dubbed ‘Fernehenge’.

Adventure loving wildlife fans will be welcomed to join interactive sessions offering the opportunity to learn wilderness survival skills to mastering the art of den building and tree identification. 

The charity is excited to welcome local businesses, Ollie Dogs and Friends and Dantyllewishes, at the May celebration event, offering an array of wildlife photography taken in Somerset and Devon. Every visit to the May Celebration supports Ferne Animal Sanctuary's mission to provide care, shelter, and love to animals in need. Tickets cost £5 per adult and £1 per child.

The charity, which employs more than 170 staff and volunteers, said it had seen ‘hard costs’ sky rocket to unprecedented levels over the last two years, with veterinary and medical bills rising by more than 46 per cent, and feed and bedding costs rising by more than 30 per cent.

Utilities and compulsory professional fees had also gone up by more than half, and the cost of labour had increased by about 20 per cent. Mr Hodges recently said it was a distressful situation for the charity to be in.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a non-government funded charity that has provided refuge and rehabilitation to its animals for more than 80 years.

To offer support to the urgent appeal, please follow this link:  www.justgiving.com/campaign/urgentappealforferne