The buildings and tracks at Hurfords were put in when The Donkey Sanctuary bought the land in the late 1990s.
Hurfords is part of Trow Farm and the Sanctuary bought Hurfords land from David Hurford who used to farm the land before he retired.
Brian Warren, who works here at Slade House Farm, worked for David and was taken on when the farm was sold. Brian and his family used to live in the farm house at Trow that now houses our Human Resources Department and the Building Maintenance Team.
Hurfords consists of three barns:
- Harvey Barn was named after Neil Harvey who was a most enthusiastic member of our staff. He had gradually worked his way up through the ranks of the Sanctuary from gardener to driver and eventually to the position of welfare officer. He loved the donkeys and they seemed to respond to him willingly. Sadly Neil died of stomach cancer in 1990.
The barn is home to our bad breathers who are bedded on Easibed™ to minimize their problems.
- Rennies Barn is named after a bequest the Sanctuary received from Duncan Rennie in 1991. Duncan and Mabel Rennie were long time supporters of the Sanctuary and as his wife had died before him, Mr Rennie left the residue of his estate to The Donkey Sanctuary. The timing of the bequest was fortunate. The Sanctuary had just purchased Hurfords land and needed accommodation for the donkeys there, so we were able to use the bequest to build the barn. Mr Rennie's executrix, Pam Webb, says he would have been delighted to be so closely connected to the donkeys. Pam visits the Sanctuary often and always goes to spend some time at Rennie’s Barn.
The barn is home to our fat group. All of these donkeys are on strict diets under close veterinary supervision to help them get down to healthier weights. Not all the donkeys in this group are overweight, because some of them are friends of those needing to lose weight. Once the donkeys are down to an ideal weight, some of them will either go to foster homes or join other herds here at the Sanctuary.
- Farhills Barn is home to our healthier and fitter donkeys who are maintaining their weight as well as donkeys preparing to go out to foster homes. We keep the fitter donkeys here due to the steepness of the hills they have to climb in the summer when they are out in their fields.
There is also a small stable yard where 2-4 donkeys can be kept at any one time that need extra handling in readiness for them to go to foster homes.