Canny Hart works in our welfare team and is currently working towards The Donkey Sanctuary’s Diploma. This is an in-house qualification that in part encourages staff to step out of their normal day to day environments. Canny recently joined me on a foray and writes about how the module she chose led her into the woods.
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Ruth Angell's blog
We have been busy in the woods this winter. We are lucky to have some fantastic woodlands on our farms – they range in size from just a few acres up to 90 acres, and some are County Wildlife Sites. They are good examples of semi-ancient woods which at one time may have had some traditional use (for example, wood fuel) but have since been left to their own devices.
For the second year running, we were delighted to welcome a group from the company Elanco for their annual Staff Volunteer Day. Last year they spent the day helping us cut an enormous section of our willowbeds which we harvest on rotation. This year, there was something quite different which we needed their help with.
The sunflowers at our Sidmouth Sanctuary are blooming and providing a feast for the eyes… and for wildlife.
You can help but smile to see them, but what's so good about the sunflower? The bright petals attract bees to the flower’s head which is made up of hundreds of small tubular flowers, each containing nectar and pollen.
Bees feed on the nectar and in doing so get covered in pollen; as they go from plant to plant, the pollen is transferred and the sunflowers are pollinated.
What do donkeys and dinosaurs have in common? Well, The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is located just a short glorious walk from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. This summer we held a family event with the Jurassic Coast Trust to discover how this section of coast looked millions of years ago, and how it is used today to look after donkeys.