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Nicola Russell's blog

An Easter Surprise... a new foal!

When I got a call from the Isolation Farm Manager, Glen, informing me of a donkey called Topsy being seconds away from giving birth, I grabbed my camera and hurried over to the farm.

When I arrived, I saw a wobbly little foal, still finding his feet on the springy field with mum licking him and encouraging him to suckle.

Topsy is 9 years old, she was relinquished to us in December already in foal with her friend Flora who only has one eye, so Topsy was a good guide to her whilst settling in to their new home.

Topsy with her new born foal

A new 'woolley' creation

When I was asked to create a knitting campaign highlighting our International work for visitors I was prepared for the creative journey ahead. Looking at pictures of the international work for inspiration, it struck me how often teaching traditional skills like sewing can make an enormous difference to donkeys and mules. We want our supporters and visitors to know that they are vital in helping us to make a difference, and that their support through knitting or buying a Woolley donkey means that we can lighten the load for working donkeys and mules all over the world.

A new 'woolley' creation

The Grizzly run... DONE!

I’ve been looking forward to writing this blog and I can now say that I survived the snow, wind, rain, and knee deep bogs, the endless hills and pebbles of the Grizzly run!...The months of training, fundraising, blogs, porridge and fudge finally paid off.

The turnout of Kennel Barn

It’s that time of year again where the donkeys are ready to play in the paddocks after being inside for the winter months. The donkeys at Kennel Barn eagerly awaited their turn with excitement (as were the grooms and myself!) they were fully alert and knew something was happening! It’s an exciting time for everyone, the weather improves, the daffodils slowly appear and the donkeys are free to run around on the undisturbed, green fields.

3 weeks to go to grime and punishment!

When I received my bib number I realised that I only have three weeks to go until the run. It’s finally dawning on me what I am actually doing. I talk about running the Grizzly on a daily basis to interested friends and work colleagues. But now, I find that I’m talking to myself, “Nicola, you’re running 21 miles, across the pebbles, up and down hills, what are you doing?!”. The thought now terrifies me. I don’t know why I’m so nervous, I ran the Edinburgh marathon last year and looking back I really enjoyed it.

My furthest training distance… done!

On Saturday (9th February) I attempted my longest run. After having a relaxing morning, consuming two pints of water and eating, once again – the dreaded porridge, I still didn’t feel prepared for the 18 mile run. I started in Sidmouth, Devon and ran to Beer through the back lanes, hills and muddy fields. Once I reached Beer I could then look forward to the hideous 10 mile home stretch along the steep coastal path and pebbles.

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