Hillside Animal Sanctuary: A Haven for Rescued Farm Animals

Established in the picturesque countryside of Norfolk, Hillside Animal Sanctuary has become a haven for animals in need. Since its inception, the sanctuary has devoted itself to the rescue and care of a diverse range of animals, providing a safe environment for creatures that have endured hardship and neglect.

The facility in Norwich not only offers solace to over 4000 animals but it also serves as a platform for advocating animal welfare and educating the public about the cruelties of factory farming.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary is not only the largest home for rescued animals in the UK, but it also plays a significant role in raising awareness and effecting change in the treatment of farm animals. The sanctuary enables visitors to connect with the animals and learn about their stories, promoting compassion and understanding.

Through its dedicated work, Hillside has garnered support from a community of donors and volunteers who contribute to the ongoing care and protection of these animals, ensuring the sanctuary’s ability to continue its mission.

Key Takeaways

  • Hillside Animal Sanctuary provides refuge and rehabilitation to a wide variety of rescued animals.
  • It is a key player in animal welfare advocacy, education, and the promotion of compassionate treatment of farm animals.
  • The sanctuary engages the public through visits and support opportunities, fostering a community committed to animal welfare.

Hillside’s Mission

Hillside Animal Sanctuary plays a crucial role in providing a safe haven for animals while educating the public on animal welfare issues. The sanctuary, founded by Wendy Valentine, focuses on exposing and combating the cruelties of the factory farming industry through various initiatives.

Campaigns and Awareness

Hillside is at the forefront of raising public awareness about the neglect and suffering of animals in the intensive farming industry. Their campaigns are designed to shed light on the often-hidden conditions of farm animals and to promote more compassionate treatment.

Martin Shaw Actor Patron Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Esteemed actor Martin Shaw is the distinguished patron of Hillside Animal Sanctuary, championing their mission. His involvement helps garner attention and support for the sanctuary’s vital work in animal rescue and welfare advocacy.

Rescue and Rehabilitation

Dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals, Hillside provides a safe environment for all animals. The sanctuary not only rescues them but also ensures their long-term care and wellbeing.

Combating Factory Farming

Hillside is unwavering in its fight against the factory farming industry. Through undercover farm animal investigations, Hillside gathers evidence to demonstrate the harsh realities faced by animals in these environments.

Education and Outreach

In addition to rescue efforts, Hillside emphasises education and outreach. This includes engaging the public through the Children’s Play Area, Activity Area, and the Farming Bygones Museum, which provide educational resources and demonstrations about animal welfare and the history of farming.

Sanctuary Operations

Hillside operates from Frettenham, ensuring that sanctuary operations sustain a secure and nurturing environment for the rescued animals. They rely on public donations to conduct their vital work.

Animal Welfare

Hillside Animal Sanctuary exhibits a profound commitment to animal welfare, offering refuge to the numerous animals that have been saved from distressing conditions. It provides them with the compassionate care and rehabilitation necessary for a more hopeful future.

Equine Care

The sanctuary is renowned for its dedication to equine welfare, creating a safe haven for horses, including majestic Shire horses. Special attention is given to rehabilitation, ensuring that each horse, like Tilly the Rescued Horse, receives personalised treatment and care.

The equine residents benefit from spacious paddocks and receive regular veterinary check-ups and farrier services, reflecting the sanctuary’s commitment to their well-being.

Assistance to Farm Animals

In addition to horses, Hillside extends its protection to rescued farm animals such as cows, sheep, and pigs. The sanctuary offers an alternative experience for these animals, far removed from the conventional dairy and meat production industries.

Dairy cows, for example, are no longer subjected to the relentless cycle of milk production. Instead, they are provided with a nurturing environment to live out their natural lives, free from the pressures of commercial beef and milk production.

Activities and Demonstrations

Hillside not only focuses on the direct care of animals but also on educating the public. Through organised demonstrations and the Farming Bygones Museum, visitors can learn about traditional farming methods and become more aware of animal welfare issues.

Activities at the sanctuary actively promote understanding and compassion towards all animals, fostering a culture of respect and kindness.

Support and Contributions

Hillside Animal Sanctuary thrives on community support through various forms of contributions. Whether individuals are inspired to make a monetary donation, offer their time as volunteers, embark on fundraising endeavours, or purchase items from the sanctuary’s retail outlets, each effort significantly aids in the care of rescued animals.


Monetary Contributions: Supporters can make a general donation to assist with the food and care of the animals at Hillside. These can be one-time gifts or set as regular monthly amounts.

Consider also the unique Adopt-a-Rescued-Animal programme, which allows you to sponsor an animal and receive updates on their well-being.

Gifts-in-Kind: Hillside welcomes practical donations, such as a Gift of Hay, which directly benefits the animals’ daily needs. Gifts are often themed, such as festive toys for the animals during the holiday season.


The sanctuary relies on a dedicated group of Volunteers who contribute their time and skills across various sectors, primarily in Animal Care. Volunteers are integral to the sanctuary’s operations, ensuring daily tasks are performed to the highest standards.

Fundraising Initiatives

Community-driven Fundraising Initiatives play a crucial role in sustaining the sanctuary. Supporters often organise events or participate in challenges to raise funds. Information on current fundraising efforts is available on Hillside’s website, complete with promotional materials such as Hillside Leaflets to support third-party efforts.

Hillside Retail

Hillside’s Gift Shop features a wide range of merchandise. Annual items such as their latest Calendar, Pocket Diaries, and Christmas Cards are popular for their dual purpose as practical items that also contribute to the sanctuary financially.

The shop also offers unique products like the Festive Mat and eco-friendly Wrapping Paper to enhance any gift-giving occasion.

All proceeds from the retail shop directly fund the sanctuary, providing a sustainable and enjoyable avenue for supporters to contribute meaningfully to the cause.

Visitor Information

Visitors can look forward to a friendly, compassionate and educational experience when they visit Hillside Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary offers a range of facilities for all ages, allowing guests to gain insight into animal welfare while enjoying a day out in the countryside.

Facilities on Site

Café: An onsite café provides a selection of vegan treats and beverages, ensuring that visitors can enjoy cruelty-free refreshments during their visit.

Gift Shop: The gift shop at Hillside Animal Sanctuary offers souvenirs and merchandise. Purchases help support the sanctuary’s mission of animal care and rescue.

Activity Area: A designated area is available where visitors can engage in educational activities and learn more about the animals’ journeys to the sanctuary.

Children’s Play Area: Younger visitors have access to a play area where they can enjoy themselves in a safe and friendly environment.

Planning Your Visit

Admission Details: Potential visitors are encouraged to check the Hillside Animal Sanctuary website for the latest information on opening times, which are typically from Easter until the end of October.

Accessibility: The sanctuary strives to be accessible to all, but visitors with specific requirements should get in touch in advance to ensure the best possible experience.

Events and Education

Demonstrations: Regular demonstrations and talks aim to educate visitors about animal welfare issues and the impact of intensive farming.

Educational Programmes: Hillside Animal Sanctuary hosts educational events designed to inform and inspire action on behalf of animals in need.

Educational Resources

Hillside Animal Sanctuary provides a comprehensive suite of educational materials that facilitate a deeper understanding of animal welfare. These resources are designed to inform and inspire action towards the campaign for animals.

Publications and Materials

Hillside Leaflets are available, offering insights into various aspects of animal care and the sanctuary’s mission. The leaflets are not only informative but also enable supporters to share the sanctuary’s goals with a broader audience.

Furthermore, Hillside produces an array of Animal Themed Christmas Wrapping Paper, which not only adds a festive touch to gifts but also promotes awareness of animal welfare during the holiday season.

DVDs produced by Hillside serve as educational tools that depict the lives of rescued animals and the sanctuary’s relentless efforts in animal welfare campaigning. The Hillside 2024 Pocket Diaries are another resource for supporters, featuring details of the sanctuary’s work and how individuals can contribute to the cause.

Online Resources

Hillside Animal Sanctuary’s website includes a dedicated section for educational resources. Here, interested individuals can find a wealth of information on various animal welfare issues, download electronic copies of leaflets, and access interactive elements that facilitate learning.

Additionally, supporters can adopt rescued animals, which is a unique opportunity to stay connected with the sanctuary’s efforts and receive bi-annual updates on the animal’s wellbeing.

Special Campaigns

Hillside Animal Sanctuary engages the community with a range of festive campaigns during the Christmas season, aimed at supporting their mission of caring for rescued animals.

Donkey like the ones at Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Donkey like the ones at Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Adrian Pingstone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas Initiatives

For the Christmas period, Hillside Animal Sanctuary launches a selection of Festive Toys and exclusive 2024 Calendars, showcasing the animals they have helped throughout the year. These items, alongside their signature Nativity Scene Christmas Cards, play a critical role in raising funds for the sanctuary’s ongoing care efforts.

The range of Hillside Christmas Cards features Amusing Animal Designs, which not only spread Christmas Wishes but also raise awareness of the sanctuary’s cause. These cards are popular with patrons who appreciate the combination of festive cheer and support for animal welfare.

In addition to traditional designs, the sanctuary often introduces new Christmas Cards each year—ensuring supporters have a variety of options to choose from, whether they prefer contemporary styles or classic Nativity Scene motifs.

These initiatives offer a meaningful way for the public to contribute to the sanctuary’s noble work during the festive season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hillside Animal Sanctuary offers a range of information addressing common queries from potential visitors and supporters. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to assist those interested in the sanctuary’s work.

What are the visiting hours for the sanctuary?

The sanctuary welcomes visitors during specific hours which may vary seasonally. It is always best for individuals to check the Hillside Animal Sanctuary website for the most current visiting hours before planning their trip.

How can one support or donate to the sanctuary?

Supporters can contribute financially through donations or participate in adoption programmes. Specific details on how to donate or support can be found on the sanctuary’s help page.

What types of animals are cared for at the sanctuary?

Hillside Animal Sanctuary provides care for a variety of animals including horses, donkeys, mules, goats, cows, and numerous birds among others. The sanctuary is dedicated to the welfare of all animals residing there.

Are there any admission fees to enter the sanctuary?

Typically, there are no admission fees to enter Hillside Animal Sanctuary, but they greatly appreciate any donations to help with the care of the animals and maintenance of the facility.

Who is responsible for the management of the sanctuary?

The management of Hillside Animal Sanctuary is overseen by dedicated staff who ensure the day-to-day operations support the welfare of the animals and the sanctuary’s overall mission.

Who currently stands as the patron of the sanctuary?

The patron of Hillside Animal Sanctuary is esteemed actor Martin Shaw, championing their mission. His involvement helps garner attention and support for the sanctuary’s vital work in animal rescue and welfare advocacy.


Hillside Animal Sanctuary stands as a testament to the compassion and dedication evident in the protection of farm animals and horses throughout the United Kingdom.

Since its establishment by Wendy Valentine, the sanctuary has risen to become a significant refuge, providing shelter and care for a wide variety of rescued animals.

The sanctuary’s ongoing mission is underpinned by public support and donations, which are vital for its operation. The team at Hillside works tirelessly to bring awareness to the welfare of animals and has seen thousands find solace within its boundaries.

The evidence of their commitment to animal welfare is also seen in the various adoption programmes they offer, which not only help fund the sanctuary’s initiatives but also foster a deeper connection between the public and the creatures in need.

Through such initiatives, Hillside facilitates unique opportunities for individuals to support their cause.

Furthermore, their efforts extend beyond the sanctuary’s fences, as they actively engage in campaigns and education to promote better treatment of animals in farming industries. Hillside Animal Sanctuary’s actions reflect an unwavering commitment to animal care that sets a benchmark for sanctuaries across the globe.

Indeed, their work not only enriches the lives of the animals in their care but also inspires a greater sense of responsibility towards animal welfare in society at large.