Clean, fresh water is a fundamental right - and it comes down to donkeys and mules to deliver it to some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Our multi-award-winning 'Donkeys Matter' garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show illustrated the vital importance of these hardworking animals.
About the garden
Set in an arid location, a shelter near a well provides some shade. A dripping bucket hangs above the well and less arid planting surrounds it. On the higher ground, a bank of lavender is reached by a path that leads to a rocky area. The path traverses from bottom left to top right, representing the many journeys that donkeys carry out on behalf of communities.
The garden scooped the coveted ‘People’s Choice Award’ and a silver medal in the judges’ awards, and has now been carefully reconstructed at The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. From Monday 15 July visitors will be able to get a taste of the prestigious London flower show in rural Devon, where they can take in the garden alongside donkeys grazing in the adjacent paddock.
Why do donkeys matter?
In Ethiopia, Samuna uses her donkeys to collect water for her children and her community. "My donkey is my strength," she told us. "She is a hero."
Similarly, Margartu - aged just 10 - is responsible for gathering water at the Bulbulla water hole. She and her older brother pledge to care for their donkeys long after they can pull a cart. "When she is old I won't load her any more," she says, "but I'll still look after her."
Could you make a contribution towards donkeys in need?
Find out how your support could help donkeys and communities across the globe.