Robin has big plans for his animal sanctuary

Robin Hills looks after a range of animals, including pigs and dogs, at Hilltop Farm Animal Sanctuary.  Picture by Jane Coltman.
Robin Hills looks after a range of animals, including pigs and dogs, at Hilltop Farm Animal Sanctuary. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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After meeting up with Robin Hills at the animal sanctuary he is developing near Morpeth, it does not take long to realise that he is full of ideas.

With family circumstances playing a big part in having to quit his job as a veterinary nurse, he is now doing all he can to create an environment where he can pass on his expertise to young people.

Some of the alpacas, and one of the sheep, who live at the site. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Some of the alpacas, and one of the sheep, who live at the site. Picture by Jane Coltman.

This includes working on funding and grant applications, seeking support from businesses and using his love of cooking to add a new feature that will bring in much-needed income.

Hilltop Farm Animal Sanctuary is a charity organisation that operates on land at Gorfenletch, just off the A697 between Heighley Gate and Longhorsley.

Robin and his mum, Coleen, have been looking after rescued animals there for about 15 years, with support from other family and friends. She lives at the site.

There are more than 200 at the moment and they include horses, ponies, dogs, alpacas, pigs, geese, goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, cats and a llama.

Robin pictured outside the Hungry Obbit barbecue-style cabin that was recently installed at the site.  Picture by Jane Coltman.

Robin pictured outside the Hungry Obbit barbecue-style cabin that was recently installed at the site. Picture by Jane Coltman.

The two donkeys, Wispa and Rolo, had a starring role in the nativity outside St Aidan’s Church last December and Robin has also taken them along to Heighley Gate.

The 40-year-old, who lives in Morpeth, said: “I’ve always helped out with the animals here, but with my mum becoming ill, I had to spend more time at the site and I had to give up my job as a veterinary nurse.

“I only have time to work here and there in bars and gyms to pay for the animals.

“As a result, I felt the time was right to set-up the animal sanctuary and we have recently become an established charity.

The two donkeys that live at the sanctuary are called Wispa and Rolo. Picture by Jane Coltman.

The two donkeys that live at the sanctuary are called Wispa and Rolo. Picture by Jane Coltman.

“We’ve had a lot of good feedback from people who have been here and now we’re hoping to get some grants and donations, as well as support from businesses.

“As well as the repair work and building of new paddocks, significant funding coming in would enable me to set-up an accessible area for disabled children and elderly people and I would be able to welcome school groups.

“It would be great to run a range of fun activities for youngsters and educate them about animal welfare.

“I’m also thinking about having a hatchery so we can sell eggs for extra income.

Picture by Jane Coltman.

Picture by Jane Coltman.

“I have plenty of ideas – I just need the funds to put them into practice.”

One idea that has been implemented to bring in money is the Hungry Obbit.

Robin will cook a meal using local produce in the middle of the barbecue-style cabin that has recently been installed at the site and groups will then be able to enjoy the food in a relaxed rural setting.

For more information about the sanctuary and booking the cabin, visit www.hilltopfarmanimalsanctuary.org
People can make donations via the PayPal system – paypal.me/hilltopanimals