AS THE high winds of Storm Arwen swept into Wroxall so it wreaked havoc at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary — causing more than £15,000 worth of damage last night (Friday).

The animal charity off St John's Road are counting the cost of seeing three of its field stables completely wrecked, fencing ripped down and benches damaged during the storm, which saw gusts reach moire than 70mph overnight.

Thankfully, all the animals were safe during the storm — the majority of them housed in the safety of the sanctuary’s permanent barns.

Staff and volunteers arrived at the site this morning (Saturday) to find the entrance driveway alone blocked by debris.

Isle of Wight County Press:

It took almost three hours to clear the driveway, to make the area safe for visitors to see the donkeys and use its popular café Grazers, and gift shop, Browse and Brays.

The charity's manager, Derek Needham, said: "The most important thing was that our animals are all safe.

"However, the damage is a major blow to us. We have never seen anything like this in the past ten years.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

"Although the winds were not as strong as in some previous storms, the precise direction of the wind and several freak gusts appear to have caused a lot of damage, which is costly, and which reduces our facilities.

"We are currently busy making areas safe, then we will take stock of the situation later this weekend."