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Press releases

Easter activities at The Donkey Sanctuary

Spring is just around the corner and there’s plenty of fun and adventure to keep the whole family entertained at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth this Easter.

Open from 9am to dusk every day, an array of family-friendly activities will be on offer, including donkey grooming and craft activities.

As the sun returns this Spring grab the kids and enjoy the outdoors, wander around the heart of the Sanctuary, explore the Maze, or take a walk through the beautiful woods and amazing scenery.

Easter donkey

The Donkey Sanctuary is holding a hedge planting event with Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project

The Donkey Sanctuary is working with Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project to hold a hedge planting event on Wednesday 16 March at the Sanctuary’s Sidmouth site from 10am till 4pm.

As part of their Higher Level Stewardship scheme with Natural England, The Donkey Sanctuary actively manages hedgerows to improve conditions for farmland wildlife, enhance landscape character and protect the natural and historic environment. Following on the success of their hedgelaying event in February, The Donkey Sanctuary is inviting people to help with hedge planting and fencing.

Managing hedges

The Donkey Sanctuary’s new build gets underway

The Donkey Sanctuary has marked the start of a project to build a donkey hospital at Brookfield Farm near Honiton. The new hospital will allow the charity to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of sick and injured donkeys arriving in its care.

CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary David Cook, and Site Manager of the new build Dave Eaves of SWH Build, marked the occasion last week with the turning of the first cut.

David Cook and Dave Eaves turning the first cut

New CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary announced

The Trustees of The Donkey Sanctuary are delighted to announce that, following an international search, Mr Mike Baker has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer of the charity.

Mike, who will take up the position on 16 May 2016, has a long and distinguished career associated with the animal welfare sector and has specific experience of equine related issues. He will be taking over the top job from David Cook who retires after an enormously successful nine years in charge and who took the Charity to new heights in terms of reach and impact.

Mike Baker has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer of the charity

Three year court battle leads to sanctuary at last for animals rescued in Colleferro, Italy

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Italian rescue centre can now guarantee sanctuary for life for 50 donkeys, mules and hinnies taken into their care after a major rescue which took place three years ago. The appalling case which resulted in over 200 donkeys, mules and horses being rescued from an equine trader in Colleferro, Italy has finally come to a close after a three year court battle, led by The Donkey Sanctuary with the Italian Horse Protection, to provide sanctuary for the animals.


The Donkey Sanctuary in Spain rescues over 100 donkeys

An emergency rescue of 100 donkeys took place this week in the Spanish village of Guijo de Granadilla, Cáceres as part of the largest rescue case lead by The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish operation, El Refugio del Burrito.

The equines were rescued by El Refugio del Burrito after the death of their owner left them with nobody to care for them. As the animals were not registered or microchipped, they faced an uncertain future until the charity stepped in.

Over 100 donkeys rescued in Spain

The Donkey Sanctuary’s living willow workshop

The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is hosting a living willow workshop on Saturday 23 April from 10am – 4pm, using willow grown on their own farms to build tunnels and domes.

Enjoy a day outdoors learning a new skill by joining The Donkey Sanctuary for a living willow workshop. This is a hands-on workshop and by the end of the day you will be ready to tackle your own project at home.

Willow arches

Donkey owner receives lifetime ban from owning animals

Mr James Steele from Glenavy was recently found guilty of two charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011. The Donkey Sanctuary is now caring for the two remaining donkeys.

These charges related to Mr Steele’s failure to make adequate provision for the welfare of six donkeys and causing unnecessary suffering to the donkeys, which ultimately had to be euthanized.

Mr Steele pleaded guilty to the offences and as a result, the Court ordered he pay costs of £1,059.98 and £166. Mr Steele also received a six months suspended sentence.

Tinsel and Jingles now with the donkey after former owner given lifetime ban from keeping animals

Amber's Donkey: New book about how a donkey and a little girl healed each other

The inspirational story of a family overcoming adversity and forming a unique bond with a rescued donkey at The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham is being told in a book called Amber’s Donkey which launches today.

The book is on sale at major retailers and also via Donkey World and the family will be celebrating the launch and signing copies of the book at The Royal Hotel in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday 30th January from 11am-2pm.

Amber's Donkey book

The Donkey Sanctuary earns national CEVAS accreditation

The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth is celebrating after its visitor destination for educational school trips has been nationally recognised by the Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS).

The accreditation is awarded to establishments where staff have met the criteria and operates in line with the CEVAS Code of Practice, which is a quality assurance standard.

Pupils on an educational visit to the Sanctuary