If you've visited the Sanctuary, you may have been on many of the walks around to see the donkeys. One of these walks leads you to pasture's new and at this time of year it's well worth stretching your legs around the nature trail to take in the sights and sounds that Mother nature has kindly left on our doorstep.
The walk starts from the Visitors' Centre and heads down between the path flanked by fields of donkeys. Before crossing over the stile, you'll find one or two donkeys crossing as they meander from one side of the field to the other, so there's time to stop off and give them a cuddle before heading off down the hill along the coastal path.
Just a short walk along, open the gate on the right hand side and enter another world that awaits. The first thing that struck me was the vivid greens of the flora on the ground and the budding leaves of the trees. Walking up the steps to the nature centre, the sound of birdsong is all around. Drumming his own beat, was a woodpecker. Looking up at the tree, there was plenty of evidence that it was a favourite of his with all the holes!
Inside the nature centre, I was drawn to a tiny bird's nest on show that one of our staff had found. Although the nest was made of twigs and moss, it was beautifully lined with donkey hair. It reminded me of when I used to groom my own donkeys. I collected their hair and left it in the field for birds to help themselves, always thinking that my donkeys' hair would keep little chicks snug and warm.
Stepping out of the nature centre, there was the unmistaken smell of wild garlic (ransoms) in the air and as I looked down the slopes either side of the path, the white flowers swayed in the gentle breeze.
Walking further up the trail where more sunlight was able to get through, bluebells were in full bloom all around. Pairs of butterflies danced above them while bumble-bees busily gathered their pollen. The continuous birdsong was all around and I was joined by a little robin flying from post to post while high above a buzzard silently glided above in search of its prey.
Walking the last section of the nature trail, I came back into the company of donkeys. You don't see them straight away but can hear their snorts and brays as they talk to each other across the fields.
All I can say is, if you're visiting the Sanctuary and are relatively fit, this is a definite walk to go on - you won't be disappointed!