It's been a much-loved attraction for decades but today, the animal charity Horseworld, based at Whitchurch near Bristol, closed its visitors centre. Trustees blame falling donations and a rise in the number of horses needing to be rescued.
Horses have been rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed at Horseworld since 1952 - but this afternoon Horseworld's vistor centre shut for good. Just five days after the closure was announced.
Horseworld near Bristol will be welcoming its final visitors today. The charity is closing its Whitchurch visitor centre at 4pm this afternoon, blaming a drop in donations and a rise in the number of horses needing help. It could mean the loss of 19 jobs.
Horseworld is looking into using the site for more rescue horses.
The union representing staff at HorseWorld say the charity "jumped the gun with the announcement that its visitor centre will close tomorrow.
– Rowena Hayward, GMB Regional Officer
The announcement has left few options for the centre's staff.
Once they have announced they are closing the visitor centre there isn't really anywhere else for around 18 or 19 staff to go.
I think what the staff feel right across the board is that the charity has just not listened to them.
The staff had in fact come up with proposals to keep the centre going.
I think they feel basically the charity has taken its bat and ball away as they didn't get the planning permission to build 125 houses on the green belt land.
The GMB Union is due to meet staff at HorseWorld near Bristol today to discuss redundancies. It's been announced that the visitor centre will close on Friday, putting 27 jobs at risk.
The charity had suffered from falling donations and more horses needing help and it had hoped that plans for a bigger visitor centre, as well as selling land for housing, would secure its future but it failed to win planning permission.
HorseWorld Trust has confirmed it's closing its Whitchurch Visitor Centre. Managers say it will re-focus its efforts on equine rescue and welfare work with disadvantaged children and young people.
Union leaders say staff at animal rescue charity HorseWorld feel stressed and let down after being told their jobs are at risk.
Around half the workforce at the attraction in Whitchurch near Bristol are under threat of redundancy.
Managers say a fall in donations mean they need to cut costs. But the charity's supporters have told us they're worried about its future.
Eli-Louise Wringe reports:-