Rare edition of Black Beauty being auctioned for Redwings

A limited 1915 edition of Black Beauty is being auctioned to raise funds for Redwings Horse Sanctuary in honour of the classic novel’s 140th birthday.

The rare copy, complete with beautiful colour illustrations by famed equestrian painter Lucy Kemp-Welch, was donated to the charity by a supporter who asked that the book be sold to help care for horses in need.

Anyone wishing to become the proud owner of this beautiful piece of history can view the book at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell until November 25 as part of a special exhibition celebrating Black Beauty’s landmark anniversary. Silent bids are welcomed up until this date and bidding slips can be obtained and submitted at the Museum or by contacting Redwings on 01508 481000 or

Redwings, which has a visitor centres at Aylsham, rescues more than 150 equines every year from abandonment and neglect, and currently cares for more than 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day across the country.

The money raised from the auction will help care for the animals now safe in the sanctuary, and support Redwings’ rescue, welfare and education work nationwide.

The silent auction is just one of the ways Redwings and the museum, along with a number of organisations in and around Norwich, have partnered with Visit Norwich to celebrate Black Beauty’s special birthday this summer.

Redwings is also providing fun talks and activities at the museum for families on horse welfare during the school holidays, and has donated an eye-catching life-sized model of a black horse for its exhibition.

Everyone is also invited to meet and enjoy a cuddle with the charity’s very own Black Beauty – a stunning Friesian horse called Maya – at its Redwings Aylsham Visitor Centre, which is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm, and entry is free.

Maya, who was rescued from terrible neglect in 2010, is available to sponsor for just £12.50 per year which goes towards caring for Maya and her friends, providing another way for Black Beauty fans to honour their favourite book and help horses in need.

To find out more about Redwings, visit

Get closer to horses at Redwings Aylsham

Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s visitor centre in Aylsham is giving everyone the chance to get closer to horses with a series of free activities as part of the national Give Horses a Go weekend.

All are welcome to come along on September 17 and 18 to join in events including fun and interactive horse care demonstrations for children, plus guided walks and talks where visitors can meet some of the centre’s beautiful rescued residents.

The Give Horses a Go weekend is an initiative run by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), which will see more than 100 approved horse sanctuaries and riding schools offer free opportunities for people to find out more about these gorgeous creatures.

11am (repeated at 2pm) – Healthy Horses! Children, aged 7-11, will transform into mini-vets after discovering how Redwings helps to keep its residents happy and healthy during a session of fun and hands-on demonstrations.

12pm – Guided walk and talk. Go behind the scenes and find out how the Redwings’ horse care teams look after hundreds of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day, plus get up close and share a cuddle with some of the charity’s beloved residents.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ education and campaigns manager, said: “You don’t have to be an owner or learn to ride. Our visitor centres – which are always completely free to enter – offer the perfect opportunity for anyone to spend time with and discover more about horses, especially for those with little or no experience of them.”

Redwings Aylsham at Spa Lane is home to 50 rescued residents including new arrivals, Suffolk Punches Wilf and Stanley. It is are open all year round every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm (closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). Entry and parking is free.

Watch Redwings’ Our Story video on their YouTube channel here –



Give the gift of carrots!

Visitors to Redwings’ Aylsham Visitor Centre are being invited to give the gift of carrots for horses in need to mark International Carrot Day on 4th April.

Carrots make fantastic healthy treats for horses and donkeys, and Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s Norfolk centres are hoping kind-hearted supporters will reach into their kitchen cupboards, supermarket shelves and gardens to provide its rescued residents with their favourite scrummy snack.

Throughout April, visitors will be able to drop off bags of carrots at the centres’ ‘Carrot Drop Stops’, or are welcome to donate £1 towards funding a nutritious nibble for the charity’s rescued horses or donkeys. 

And while up to 40% of fruit and vegetables produced in the UK are currently thrown away because they’re deemed not suitable for sale, no knobbly carrot is turned away by a Redwings horse or donkey!

Gemma Walpole, Redwings’ Head of Fundraising, said: “Small, wonky or knobbly – our horses and donkeys adore carrots. With 1500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in our care nationally, that’s a lot of mouths to feed so we hope our visitors will take this opportunity to think of us this International Carrot Day. Don’t neglect your wonky veg, give our residents a well-deserved treat instead!”

Carrots are given by Redwings staff to praise good behaviour or simply as a healthy snack, but care is always taken to give treats in moderation. Despite their size, carrots should only be given to horses and donkeys as occasional treats as too many could see them put on unnecessary weight.

Visitors to Redwings over the celebratory weekend of 1st to 4th April will be able to find out more by taking on a “Carrot Chase” quiz trail around the site – while making sure to say hello to its many horsey and donkey residents along the way! Anyone with a sweet tooth can also treat themselves to a scrummy carrot cupcake in the centre’s café with all proceeds going towards funding Redwings’ vital rescue and welfare work.

Redwings’ International Carrot Day celebrations will take place on Friday 1st April to Monday 4th April, 10am to 4pm, at Redwings Aylsham, Spa Lane, Aylsham, NR11 6UE. Entry is free of charge.


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