Cool Beans : Lara Manning

Lara loves animals, that’s a fact. With her passion and drive in maintaining her sanctuary for farm animals, Lara is a cool bean indeed. Working a day job to keep up with the costs in providing for her many beloved animals, it’s literally a non-stop set up for Lara and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

We asked Lara to come and see us and tell us a bit about Finni’s Ark – we got a chance to meet a few of her furry and feathered friends and our fave photographer, Danny Evans got to capture a couple of horses in his studio – that has to be a first! There were a few side glances as the two mini ponies trotted down Don Road and the chickens were clucking hilarious!

Lara’s tireless pursuit of caring for farm animals also brings much joy to the wider community. She organises visits to care homes and schools and people are welcome to visit her and the animals up on the farm.

“I’ve grown up in an animal-loving family so we’ve always taken in all sorts of animals since I was born, but I set up Finni’s Ark as a licensed sanctuary in 2019 after realising there weren’t really any options for livestock and poultry over here. All of the animals have big personalities and it’s hard to say who has the most character. It doesn’t take long for them to come out of their shell once they’ve arrived at Finni’s Ark! For example, Boris the pig has only been with us a few months but his confidence has grown over that time and we now know what he likes/dislikes etc. We have lots of funny moments, like when Bernard the turkey decided to join some joggers and my dad had to chase him up the road…!

When the covid crisis settles down a bit and we’re able, we hope to do some volunteer days, whereby local companies can come and lend a hand on the farm – there’s always lots to do! We also hope to do some educational type visits for anyone who might like to learn more about a specific type of animal. We currently do visits to schools and residential homes for therapy or educational purposes, but not so much at the moment with things in the air and many places closed.

Anyone who would like any further information or to arrange visits (both those at the sanctuary and away from the sanctuary are by appointment only) can contact us via our Facebook page, email or telephone.

Can people do anything to help Finni’s Ark, aside from volunteer their time?

“We have a Just Giving page and an Amazon wishlist, but quite a few of the products on it can also be purchased from our local animal feed suppliers. The sanctuary is predominantly self-funded so we’re always grateful for any support we get as costs for the care of animals is huge… Any donation is always so very gratefully received.”

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