Our story

Goodheart was built on the belief that all animals are individual sentient beings, just like humans. They feel pain, have emotions, and should be treated with respect.

Founded on compassion

As lifelong animal lovers, David Walker and Dwynwen Jones (also known as DJ) noticed that while there were many initiatives to help protect wildlife and exotic animals, someone needed to speak up for the underdogs of the animal world – farmed animals.

Goodheart Founders stand with one of their rescued cows

David and DJ felt so strongly about doing something that they established Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries, and, supported by experienced Director Alison Hood (who spent over 25 years working for Born Free Foundation), they set about securing the perfect site for a brand-new sanctuary which would become a haven for rescued animals.

They decided on The Nickless, in Worcestershire; with its gentle hills, wooded areas and large pastures. It was the ideal spot, and in 2017 Goodheart Farm Animal Sanctuary opened its doors. Set in 92 tranquil acres, the sanctuary is home to over 300 rescued animals including pigs, goats, cows, sheep, geese and chickens.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in animals. As a kid, I used to nag my parents to buy me wildlife magazines.

Many years later, I was lucky enough to travel and see these exotic animals for myself. But what about farm animals? They were living creatures too. They had feelings and personalities of their own, but few people seemed to care. They were being grown like vegetables until they were fit to eat.

I've always supported the underdog (I’m a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan), and so farm animals became my main passion. Fortunately, DJ felt the same way, and we set about looking at ways to help these underdogs.

We know the future holds lots of exciting developments and no doubt a few challenges, and we hope you'll be right there with us.

Welcome onboard!
Founder David Walker strokes a white goat
David Walker

We believe that adopting a more plant-based diet is beneficial not only to our health but to our animal friends and the planet too. For this reason and many others, we identify as a vegan animal sanctuary and aim to encourage others to opt for more compassionate lifestyle choices, where possible.

Our approach

With over 300 animals safe at our site, we’re looking to help even more with our threefold mission to offer sanctuary to more abused and neglected animals; to raise awareness of their plight; and to campaign to end their suffering:

Visitor & Education Manager Abby


Learn about the animals who arrive at Goodheart and how we care for them



We believe in the importance of educating future generations about animals and the natural world.



We want to spread our message of kindness far and wide. Join us in our campaigning efforts.

Watch our official video

Watch our official promo video, narrated by our wonderful patron, the actor and animal activist, Peter Egan.