DEVON-based animal charity, the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), have been overwhelmed by the generosity that flooded in after their urgent appeal to replace their rehoming van.

The van which the charity uses to collect and transport upwards of 10,000 hens a year broke down in January, and was written off.

With 6,400 hens waiting to be collected from their cages before the end of this month, the charity appealed to the public for urgent support.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "The generosity that flooded in as soon as we launched an urgent appeal to replace our rehoming van was awesome and we simply cannot thank everyone enough!

"The total raised, a stupendous-tremendous £29,084, surpassed all expectations. Not only have we been able to replace our broken van, we have additional funds to buy some new hen trailers too! These trailers can carry 600 hens comfortably and will be used by our regional volunteer teams so they can continue their life-saving work week-in week-out."

Affectionately christened Vicky 2 by the charity's Head of Operations Gaynor, the new van is now being kitted out with all the appropriate modifications for hens to travel comfortably. Before the end of the month it will have transported 6,400 hens on to their free-range retirements.

READ MORE: Urgent appeal from hen charity as rehoming van needs replacing