When I went to Vegan Camp Out 2019, there was a small stall on display for a new sanctuary (founded November 2018) in Somerset. I went along, had a look and a quick chat to the stall holder and, to be honest, soon after getting home, I forgot about it. Until a couple of months ago, when I found the tiny piece of paper with their Instagram, website etc on it. I very quickly went onto the website and contacted them to arrange a free photography shoot, as is my way. Fast forward just a few weeks and I was driving up to the bright pink gates to Pear Tree Farm with Elena.
I had been talking with Bex via email but she wasn't there and instead we met her sister, Katherine and a couple of volunteers. Saturday also happened to be the day they were doing a chicken rescue and rehoming event. We ended up taking two of the beautiful girls home but, more on that later.
We started off taking some photos of the hens, which had been rescued from a free range farm but, as I'm sure many of the people who visit my page will know, that doesn't stop them from looking a sorry state with masses of feather missing, bare bums, lots of fighting, and all of them absolutely terrified.
After a few photos of the hens, we moved on to the goats. Elena has always wanted to rescue goats and I think the goats at Pear Tree Farm have simply cemented that desire because they were absolutely fantastic, and such posers! Anybody would think they had been born in a Vogue photo studio. They wanted nothing more than cuddles, some fuss (following us when we tried to get distance to take some photos) and to pose.
Other residents at Pear Tree Farm includes a variety of different pigs, including two fully grown industrial pigs, Florence and Freddie, who were just gentle giants looking for a belly rub or two. There was a small flock of sheep who we completely fell in love with, as you can see in the photo at the top of the blog. A couple of horses and, probably the most adorable resident of all, Coffee the ferret.
We did our rounds, followed by one particular hen the entire time.
The one I really wanted to see, was Winnie the pig. She had come to Pear Tree Farm extremely overweight because her former owners had used her as an accessory and fed her cream cakes! Pear Tree have been working hard to get her to lose weight, with some success. But she spent most of our visit hiding and sulking because she wasn't allowed in the garden with the chickens she loves!
When we had finished photographing (and playing) with the residents, the hen rehoming was already underway. This is a very stressful time for the hens, they had already been captured and moved once that day (from farm to sanctuary) and were now being chased down again, it is always uncomfortable to watch, knowing the stress you are putting them through because they don't know they are heading to a better life.
Pear Tree Farm are a fantastic, small sanctuary who welcome any donations people are willing to give. You can see the photos from my visit in the Sanctuaries section of the website and you can also visit their website for more information: http://ptfanimalsanctuary.mystrikingly.com/
I mentioned that we brought home an extra two hens to enjoy retirement, and here they are (Bella left, Penny right):