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Jenifer Tucker's blog
Autumn here in Devon is a wonderful time of year, especially with the coming of Apple Day this weekend. For this is the time when local growers celebrate Britain's wonderful native apples. Apple Day was originally a way of celebrating and demonstrating the variety of apples we are in danger of losing - not simply in apples, but richness and diversity of landscape, place, ecology and culture too.
This week staff and volunteers at the Sanctuary will be out and about adding hundreds of reed crosses to all the memorial plaques along the walkways in readiness for Memorial Day on Saturday 6th October. Having noticed a break in the rain showers this morning, I also collected a large bag of crosses... but before doing anything else, I took a walk to see Heidi's plaque and tied a bunch of roses mixed with wild flowers from the hedgerows to her memorial.
Today I joined our wildlife expert, James Chubb, on a ramble to catch up with some of the wild residents here at the Sanctuary. I must say it was a real eye-opener to realise just what we have on our doorstep and it was a chance to ask James questions as we went round checking mammal traps and reptile refuges, to find out what lives in the woodlands and fields around Slade House Farm.
On a cold February morning I opened a door and stepped into another world... that of the elderly donkey living at Axnoller Farm. It's not every day that something catches you unaware, but this was one of those moments as I took in the sight of around 50 donkeys standing side by side along the feeders eating their breakfast almost in silence. Each and every donkey wearing their winter rugs to offer them further warmth.