The Donkey Sanctuary’s award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden that was re-built at the charity’s international headquarters in Sidmouth has received another accolade, after it picked up a prestigious Community Award in the 2021 Association of Professional Landscapers’ awards. 

The Association of Professional Landscapers' annual awards recognise landscaping projects that show technical and horticultural excellence. The Community Award, that the ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden won, recognises charitable and remembrance gardens. 

The ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden was built to mark The Donkey Sanctuary’s 50th anniversary in 2019 and was designed to showcase the charity’s international work. Using water as its central theme, the garden demonstrates how owning a donkey means access to clean, fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world. 

Phil Treymayne, Manager, The Association of Professional Landscapers said: “The award judges who visited the ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden in Sidmouth were extremely impressed at the level of skill and attention to detail that had gone into the reconstruction. 

“These are never very easy to do, and it was felt that the construction team had done a fantastic job in retaining the overall look and feel of the garden and blending it in to its new surroundings. 

Phil added: “Whilst there had to be subtle changes, the overall look and feel of the garden was retained and it is brilliant to think this multiple award-winning garden can now be viewed by thousands more visitors. It was a very deserved winner." 

James Searle, Head of Commercial Activities at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “We’re really proud that our garden has won this award and that the hard work and dedication of the construction team has been recognised by the judges. 

“It was always our aim to produce a garden that could be enjoyed for years to come, long after the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth re-opens in May, I know once again, that the garden will be a firm favourite with visitors.” 

The garden won the sought-after ‘BBC RHS People’s Choice Award’ in the Artisan Garden category at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. After the show, it was reconstructed at the charity’s international headquarters in Sidmouth. 

East Sussex based landscapers, Frogheath Landscapes Ltd, constructed the garden. It can be viewed free of charge at The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth, which is due to re-open to visitors on Monday 17 May. 


For interviews, images and information please contact The Donkey Sanctuary press office on 01395 573124 or 07970 927778 (including out of hours) or send an email.

Notes to Editors

The Donkey Sanctuary is the world's largest equine welfare charity. Our vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains vets both nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning programme helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation, and those used in the production of meat and skin.

Please note that the name ‘The Donkey Sanctuary’ should not be abbreviated to ‘Donkey Sanctuary’, and the word ‘The’ should always appear with a capital ‘T’ as above.