At last, the sun is shining, so it's a good chance to nip out to see what’s going on around the Sanctuary during these winter months.
Walking past the veterinary hospital, I stopped off to see how the new extension was coming along. After 25 years the veterinary department has finally outgrown the original hospital which houses an operating theatre and treatment area providing 21st century facilities for the donkeys in our care.
Just round the corner, building work is also underway replacing the old wooden framed beach boxes that got their name from the time when these shelters originally housed retired beach donkeys that came into the Sanctuary. The steel framework is currently being made by our own fabrication team and over the coming weeks will be erected where the old shelters once stood.
While watching the work being carried out, I was chatting with the team and found out that they have replaced many of the older shelters around the Sanctuary and have made great savings by doing the work in-house.
On my way back to the office, I noticed a pile of new plastic donkey collars - all made by the grooms with the names of the donkeys inscribed - tucked inside a barn. I stepped in to take some photos and was immediately spotted by the donkeys who began to bray. I couldn't just walk away, so went over to see them. While I stood with the donkeys, a white dove flew down and perched alongside.
One of the donkeys quietly walked up to the dove and touched it gently with its nose followed by another donkey … and another. It's amazing what you can see when you just stand and watch.