A café at a Briercliffe farm is set to close this year, as part of a large refurbishment

The café at Shores Hey Farm is just one aspect of the significant refurbishment that has been announced as part of the Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) 50th anniversary.

The charity’s board of trustees has announced a substantial investment and enhancements at Shores Hey Farm, only made possible due to the generosity of devoted HAPPA supporters.

All works are set to start on June 3 and include extensive refurbishments of the café, the Walter Bartley stable block, and the opening of an onsite museum.

The Café at Shores Hey Farm has become a cornerstone of the local community since reopening post-pandemic, drawing supporters from near and far.

The influx in visitors has highlighted the need for an extended kitchen. The planned kitchen extension and refurbishment will enhance the facilities, including the relocation of customer toilets and expansion of the second-floor space for visiting businesses utilising the adjoining meeting rooms.

The café will be closed from Monday, June 3, until Thursday, July 18.

Lancashire Telegraph: Horse outside The Café at Shores Hey FarmHorse outside The Café at Shores Hey Farm (Image: HAPPA)

During this period, a ‘café on wheels’ will be available outside the reception area of Shores Hey Farm.

Andy Black, café and kitchen manager said: "We're incredibly grateful for the community's support since reopening after Covid. The Café team are excited to see the improvements come to life.

“We’ll all be working hard over the next couple of months to ensure we can still provide five-star customer service from our ‘café on wheels’ and wait eagerly to get back into the new and improved kitchen to continue to serve our customers delicious food and refreshment.’’

Also set to be refurbished is the Walter Bartley memorial stable block. The internal stabling has deteriorated over the years, with rusting metal frameworks and fragile wooden slats posing risks to both horses and staff.

The renovation plans include the replacement and extension of 16 stables, the installation of a new rubber matting system, and two storerooms.

The stables will be rebuilt with steel frameworks and recycled plastic slats, offering durability and low maintenance, the new rubber mats offer protection, comfort, and warmth for the horses. This planned upgrade will ensure that horses, ponies, and donkeys rescued by the charity continue to receive exemplary standards of care.

Rachael Wallace, equine rehabilitation and rehoming manager, said: “The Walter Bartley stable block, has served us well, but the stabling within the building is now deteriorating and becoming unfit for purpose.

“The much-needed upgrade to the stabling will enhance horse welfare, reduce maintenance costs, and allow us to accommodate larger horses.”

A new Heritage Museum is also set to open at the site in September.

The museum aims to educate visitors about the history of HAPPA and the development of horse welfare in agriculture, transport, and leisure. The project has involved extensive research into HAPPA’s heritage and the influential figures who have shaped the Charity.

Amanda Berry, head of equine operations, said: “Bringing this story to life is both satisfying and rewarding.

“Following the footsteps of our Founder, Mona Huskie, has been enlightening. Having worked in equine welfare all my life, this journey has been fascinating, and I am privileged to tell her story.”

The Heritage Museum will enhance the visitor experience at Shores Hey Farm, providing a rich educational resource about the evolution of equine welfare and HAPPA’s enduring impact.

The museum will highlight the work of HAPPA’s founder, Mona Huskie, who dedicated her life to improving the welfare of horses and combating cruel practices. More information on the opening of the new Heritage Museum will be released this, Summer.

Sarah Arthur, chief executive officer of HAPPA, said: “I am deeply humbled by the support shown for HAPPA in this an important milestone for the charity.

"My heartfelt thanks go to those that have remembered HAPPA in their will, without your support we would simply cease to exist.

“It is important that we remember the generosity of those that have left a gift, in this case vital improvement will be made to the facilities at Shores Hey Farm in their memory.

“The site improvements will safeguard the charity’s existence for a further fifty years.”