It has certainly been a busy summer for the donkeys and staff our centre here in Birmingham. In addition to the Holiday Club riding therapy sessions that we run for children with additional needs, we also had a record breaking number of visitors - over 20,000!
Of course, the donkeys themselves are enough of a reason to visit the picturesque Birmingham centre, nestled in the woodlands of Sutton Park. However, a couple of extra critters made an appearance and joined the donkeys during the summer months.
The Big Hoot was an art event held throughout Birmingham where 89 giant owls, painted by various artists, were dotted about the borough. In addition to this, 120 smaller owlets were painted by local schools and placed at various attractions throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. And the donkeys were lucky enough to play host to not one, but two!
Both Perry Hoot painted by Perry Beeches Infant School and Vivaldi painted by Kings Rise Academy helped attract an extra one thousand visitors throughout July, August and September as people toured Birmingham in an attempt to view all 209 owls.
The donkeys got a chance to meet the owls in the field, the vibrant colours and novel objects certainly got the donkeys interested - we think they thoroughly approved of the artwork!
On the last day of The Big Hoot event, our staff and volunteers celebrated the summer by taking three adoption donkeys (Moses, Oscar and Cisco), and the two owlets, for a walk through Sutton Park. This was so that the owlets could meet ‘mommy owl’, the giant owl that was situated outside the visitors' centre in the park.
The beautiful autumn is now settling onto the park and the leaves are turning amazing colours. Looking back at an amazing summer, we thank all the visitors who came to see both the owls and the donkeys over the school-holiday months.
All that’s left to say is... Hee-haaawww and Too-wit-ta-woo!