It all began with one woman’s determination to help sick, unwanted and vulnerable horses – and has grown into a popular registered charity that has looked after scores of horses, ponies, donkeys and other animals. And is determined to do still more!
Back in the 1960s, Margaret Piper started looking after sick horses and ponies. As more and more were brought to her for help, she set up a 12-acre sanctuary on a farm at Bolenowe, a village near Camborne in West Cornwall. But still the demands on her services grew, and Bolenowe Animal Sanctuary was born as a registered charity in 1987.
Extra land was bought for the sanctuary by Miss Molly Powell, fund-raising was stepped up with a market stall in nearby Redruth, then a charity shop in Helston and other initiatives. All of it thanks to Margaret Piper’s unswerving dedication and a team of volunteers.
Sadly, as the years passed failing health forced Margaret Piper to move to Wales to live with her grand-daughter. Margaret Piper died, in her nineties, in 2006.
With the farm housing the sanctuary now headed for new ownership, Bolenowe’s trustees took the momentous decision to buy Bonaventure Farm at Ruan Minor on The Lizard peninsula – a huge commitment made possible by generous financial help from a kind supporter.
The last few years have seen enormous changes at Bolenowe’s new home, with new utilities, buildings, fencing and gates, all in accordance with the many regulations covering this sort of enterprise.
Since Margaret Piper first started her work, Bolenowe has housed hundreds of animals and currently has around 70 horses and ponies, some of which are out on loan, on our very own 30-acre farm, plus turkeys, chickens and ducks – and two goats, Holly and her son Bramble!
A team of dedicated Trustees oversees the running of the sanctuary with a small staff and a hard-working cheerful band of volunteers. Like so many voluntary bodies, we have two constant needs: a steady supply of willing volunteers and, of course, money. Help in kind or in cash is always hugely appreciated.
There are all sorts of jobs to be done, from hands-on outdoor work at the farm to more administrative tasks, from helping at our two successful charity shops in Helston to boosting our fund-raising at events.
Do contact us if you think you could offer any of those. You will be warmly welcomed! And, of course, if you would simply like to donate towards our work, please use one of the methods you can find on this website.