Thousands of pounds will be raised for charity today on the UK’s first ever British Hen Welfare Day.
Today (Friday, 23 September) marks the start of the British Hen Welfare Trust’s fundraising appeal to help build a flagship re-homing and education centre.
Hundreds of people have signed up to hold a Free Range Friday today, at which they will be eating lots of cake in exchange for a donation for the charity.
And something a bit special has taken place at Hen Central, the charity’s head office, in time for the big day.
Illustration students from Petroc college in Barnstaple took on the mammoth task of marking out, mowing and spray painting a 10m by 10m hen to mark British Hen Welfare Day.
Kim Jones, programme manager for foundation degree in illustration, plus degree students Hollie McDonald and Ally Kiddo spent hours at Hen Central along with Kim’s son, Will Jones, marking out the hen.
It was also filmed and photographed by Ian Kevern, from Skyz Ink, who was on hand with his drone while the hen was taking shape.
'We hope Free Range Fridays will go off with a bang'
Charity founder, Jane Howorth MBE, said: "We have been looking forward to this day for so long and our supporters always pull out all the stops to help us raise as much as we can for the charity.
"We know bakers have been going into overdrive getting cakes, biscuits, muffins and more ready for the day, and we hope all the Free Range Fridays go off with a bang.
"I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Petroc and Ian for helping get our big red hen in place – it was a big ask but they really pulled it off!"
Kim added: "When the charity contacted us asking if we could help with their big red hen it was certainly one of the more unusual requests we’ve had.
"However, we like to give anything a go so rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in.
"We were really pleased with the result and, personally, I’d like to thank Hollie, Ally and Will for their hard work in pulling it off."
British Hen Welfare Day is also about raising awareness of hen welfare and educating people about the eggs hidden in processed foods.
Everyone holding a Free Range Friday was asked to ensure any cakes they ate (whether homemade or shop bought) contained only free range eggs.