East Axnoller Farm is situated some 35 miles from our main headquarters in Devon and nestles in the Dorset hills at the starting point of the River Axe. In 2007, otters and water voles had been seen on the river after many, many years of being absent.
Steve Stone has been farm manager since 1991 and has a team of six staff. The farm was bought by the Sanctuary in December 1990 and consists of 60 hectares (148 acres) of land that is used for grazing the donkeys and for making their own haylage in the summer.
During the winter months the grass is let out to a local farmer for him to keep his sheep on. This arrangement works very well because the sheep help keep the grass down throughout the winter when it is too wet for the donkeys to be out in the fields.
As well as healthy donkeys, there is also a group needing special care for respiratory problems. There is also a controlled diet group (the steep hills are ideal to help the donkeys get the additional exercise they need) and a mule/pony group.