East Lancashire's biggest and best animal sanctuary is re-opening to the public from May 1.

Following a period of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Edenfield has announced that they will be opening their doors from May 1, for weekend visitors only.

Anyone wishing to make a trip to the sanctuary will need to pre-book their visit.

A spokesperson for the Edenfield sanctuary said: "We are very pleased to announce that we will be reopening on May 1 for weekends only.

"This will be strictly via booking only so please do not arrive without booking first as we have to follow government guidelines.

"Our new booking system is available on our website.

"We do have a £2 donation per person to help cover costs for the changes we have needed to make to ensure we are completely safe for our visitors, staff and animals.

"f you have any problems booking online you can call reception between 10am and 12pm and book this way too."

Once booked, visitors will need to arrive at their allotted time and drive into the car park entrance where they will be greeted by one of Bleakholt's staff who will check them in using the QR code that will have been sent upon booking.

The spokesperson added: "You will then be able to park and visit the animals following a one way system via the stables and donkeys first, then onto the rabbits, goats, and Harold and Madge who will hopefully be out sunbathing, then dogs then cats.

"Our oldies block in cats will be closed for now.

"We have made the decision to close some of our kennel blocks off to help keep our dogs calm and settled, we do hope you understand."

Sanitising stations will be available at the entrance and across site and staff are asking all visitors to follow social distancing whilst visiting.

The book shop and onsite shop will be open but limited to one household at a time, with masks required in these areas.

The café at Bleakholt will be re-opening in due course.

The spokesperson added: "Anyone looking to adopt one of our animals must visit our website and apply on there, adoptions are only possible via appointments and staff will not be available to deal with animal enquiries."

Sanctuary Manager Karen Weed said: ""We are delighted to be reopening, initially at weekends.

"We have missed having the public here for over a year and it will be brilliant for people to see the work which has gone on around Bleakholt during lockdown and all our animals again."

For more information and to book please click on this link.