The Donkey Sanctuary is very fortunate to occupy over 1,200 acres of farmland in Devon and Dorset, most of which falls within the rolling hills of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This land provides our resident donkeys with their summer grazing pasture and winter haylage, as well as supporting dormice, barn owls, otters, rare bat species and all kinds of other wildlife in our woodlands, ponds, hedgebanks and grassland. We want to enrich our donkeys’ lives whilst enhancing the wildlife habitats on our farms, and are exploring ways in which we can integrate donkey wellbeing and wildlife conservation.
In 2013 we entered Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme. This scheme runs for ten years and aims to improve conditions for farmland wildlife, enhance landscape character and protect the natural and historic environment. It is helping us to improve foraging habitat for bat species, restore species-rich grassland and hedgerows of very high environmental value, provide food sources for nectar-feeding insects, and undertake crucial woodland management.
As part of our commitment to enhancing the biodiversity on our farms we hold conservation volunteer days when we carry out a variety of conservation tasks such as hedge planting and laying, scrub clearance, woodland management and pond restoration. If you would like to donate your time and energy and help us with this work, we would love to see you! They occur on Wednesdays between October and March. Hot drinks, gloves and tools are provided, please bring lunch and wear sturdy footwear and appropriate outdoor clothing.
We hold weekly volunteering sessions on Thursdays (all year) when we work on a variety of projects around Slade House Farm, Sidmouth. We aim to improve habitat for our wild residents by providing year-round food and shelter for insects, birds and mammals, whilst creating feasts for our senses too. Hot drinks, gloves and tools are provided, please bring lunch and wear sturdy footwear and appropriate outdoor clothing.
This year we will also be starting a volunteer species monitoring group from April to September so if you are interested in regularly helping us with floral or faunal surveys, then please get in touch.
If you would like to book a place or have any queries, please contact our Wildlife and Conservation Manager.
Interested in volunteering?
We'd love to hear from you