Today, the Woodside Sanctuary is far removed from the shanty town it once was. From the old paddock has risen a purpose built, modern facility and most of our elderly sheds have gone. However, completion has been very stressful, and taken much longer than we had hoped. Due to our countryside location, strict planning rules were enforced, and this has cost us dearly in time and funding.
One example of this was the need to control noise levels where we had to prove that dog barking would not exceed certain decibels. This was particularly expensive as we were forced to employ a specialist company to provide professional evidence. High ceilings, in the plans to deaden noise, were also mandatory, as was a grass roof so that we blend in with the landscape.
Probably the most difficult challenge of all, was to achieve a bigger sanctuary when we were only allowed to copy the ‘footprint’ of the old one. This was achieved by digging down a level. Despite this hurdle, a comfortable, staff and pet friendly environment is now below ground, but with the benefit of daylight runs.
All the above examples have, over the years, come to fruition and most of the remaining tasks are cosmetic or on a smaller scale. Eventually there will be some serious landscaping to do, but for now the goats love the mounds of earth and the pigs enjoy rooting around the rough grassland.
In our adjacent fields we have environmentally friendly reed bed ponds. As well as coping with excess run off water and waste from the sanctuary, the ponds attract indigenous wildlife and plants.
Current facilities include:
Reception and education/ event room. Treatment room for visiting vets. Catteries, kennels and a unit for small animals. Retirement units for elderly pets unlikely to be offered homes. Feral cat unit for residents and for street cats trapped for neutering. Pens for rabbits, pot bellied pigs and goats (the last two enjoy free-range during the day)
Add to this staff and laundry facilities, storage and office space.