A horse sanctuary is calling on the public to ensure its survival after the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Friesian Experience, situated in the rolling Cartmel countryside, is an outdoor horse centre which concentrates on special experiences for a couple or a small group of friends.

The sanctuary, which was set up in 2018, offers an array of experiences including: beach rides; carriage driving lessons; and unique, bespoke, experiences for people suffering from or recovering from an illness or disability.

However, their services were forced to come to an end last year with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and founder Tracey Alexander fears for the sanctuary's future.

She said: "During the first lockdown we fell through the gaps of financial support available from the Government for the first few months but subsequently received a small discretionary payment from the local council.

"Prior to this we were struggling to keep on top of the ongoing costs of keeping, at the time, 18 horses.

"Although we were able to open our doors to visitors for a couple of months, this alone would not have generated enough income to see us through the long winter months.

"Sadly, with the new restrictions I have had to make the difficult decision to cut staff costs for the duration of the lockdown.

"The horse's care and welfare will always be at the forefront of what we do here and with their help we will continue to educate and bring joy to all those who have fallen in love with this magical breed."

Ms Alexander launched a GoFundMe page to help raise desperately-needed cash to care for the horses.

She said: "Every single day I count my blessings – I am one extremely lucky lady for many different reasons and this is a very difficult thing for me to have to do – to ask for help when I know so many people are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

"But right now me and my family, like many others, are facing an incredibly hard challenge that threatens the future of our Friesian horses, our family farm and our unique businesses that bring so much pleasure to visitors from around the world.

"It would be devastating for us and for all Friesian lovers if we cannot see it through to the other side of this.

"I can guarantee every penny donated will go towards the care of the horses and the maintenance of their facilities so we can find a way to keep this very special place going; not only for ourselves but for all future visitors."

To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-our-friesian-sanctuary-survive-covid19