Gracedale Vegucation Centre

It is with great relief, pleasure, excitement and pride we are now in a position to announce some amazing news and the main reason Fiona did not go to her race in Namibia. After weeks of extraordinary and complicated efforts which have exhausted every ounce of her incredible reserves and resolution we have managed to secure what will be Gracedale Vegucation Centre - as part of the expansion of Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary.

With the acreage for all the animals on one site and buildings to host visitors and vegan functions the property is unsurpassed in so many ways. It is local which facilitates the moving of all the animals – even the most elderly and frail. The secure acreage (as opposed to the current arrangements of tenuous and costly multiple locations) means all the grazing animals can roam peacefully together on one site. The land has no public rights of way which affords ultimate security and safety for the gang and meanders down to the sea wall with fantastic views and places for people to come and visit, walk, run, camp, glamp, cycle, and volunteer or just relax and rejuvenate amongst likeminded people and the animals at the Centre or in the beautiful locale.

Most of all, it means that friends of the animals will be able to come and visit without the current problems we have accommodating this at present. When we moved to the Sanctuary no-one could have foretold the future. We initially intended it to be a small piece of Heaven for a few animals but as the Sanctuary has grown, so have we. Fiona has, for almost 20 years, provided sole care of the gang here at Tower Hill Stables whilst juggling this with her illustrious Marathon running career and all the rigours of training that entails. Now she wants to do more with added focus on education and physically showing people the viability, validity and values of a cruelty free lifestyle and the beauty and enhancement this brings on a personal level but also on a globally impacting one too.

We are announcing this now as we have finally reached a stage where we have no reason to doubt it will happen. There are, and will be, so many, many ways to help – we need the land fencing as it has been used for organic hay production for the last few years – making for incredible grazing as it has not been ‘overused’ and abused in the past. This is the reason we initially became aware of the property 18 years ago when we started to collect hay there and the reason we know this is a one in a million opportunity to secure the perfect place for this project. Volunteers to do almost anything and everything, fundraising for fence posts to do the fencing, help moving the large animals, any unwanted furniture for the function areas and an awful lot of sharing on social media to get the word out there.

Fiona has always acted from the heart – anyone who knows her will know this too. Whether it be going vegan at 6 years old – totally self-inspired – or from having the guts to fight for Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary and with it the potential to physically help animals turning that dream of rescue into a reality. Her prodigious and prestigious Marathon running career to promote veganism in a positive and proactive way spanning many years from elite road races to the toughest ultras and multiple Guinness World Records. And now the overwhelming volume of requests to hear Fiona speak – from mainstream to vegan sources alike – something she certainly never anticipated considered herself able to do.

None of this has been mapped out or planned. She has only ever done what felt right, possible and necessary at that point in time and would have most impact and benefit for the animals – the very, and only, reason she has lived her life. It is exactly that vision, fight, energy, commitment and foresight which has made this possible.

We hope we will be able to greet you and introduce you to the ‘gang’ at Gracedale very, very soon. If you want to help and be part of making this happen, please get in touch!

Fiona Oakes