It's Monday morning and I'm sitting in the office going through my emails when one comes in from Annie Brown, general farms manager, asking for help from staff to move 20 donkeys. Within seconds I was replying, but before I pressed the 'send' button, there was a knock on the door from Annie herself saying "I take it you'll be helping". I definitely don't need asking twice when it comes to getting in with the donkeys!
So why are we moving the donkeys?
Due to intake of donkeys from Northern Ireland we are having to move 20 donkeys from Oakley Shelter (round on Walk B) to 10 Acre Field (round on Walk F).
Forming an orderly queue...
At 10.30 am Annie and 12 other members of staff who normally work in offices gathered together at Trow Farm to walk over to Oakley Shelter where we met up with a team of grooms to begin putting on head collars ... well, after lots of hugs and cuddles for the donkeys!
Once the head collars were all on the donkeys, each of them paired up with their donkey friend and we gradually formed an orderly queue ready to set off. With Muffin (the mule) leading the way, we set off at a gentle pace. With so many donkeys walking together, you can never tell how they will behave, but we all set off in a timely manner and our visitors enjoyed watching the procession of donkeys as we walked through the Sanctuary grounds.
Even the donkeys in their paddocks came over to see what was happening... one or two braying to say "hello"!
Once we'd reached 10 Acre Field, we followed Annie's instructions to make sure we were all standing ahead of our donkeys ready to release their head collars at the same time. It was lovely to watch them all disappear up to the other end of the field - some of them galloping around clearly enjoying themselves.
It was also great to see all the staff with huge smiles on their faces... they were clearly enjoying themselves too!