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Wild Sanctuary videos

A corner of paradise

Summer has truly arrived and one of the great joys is seeing nature bursting into life all around our beautiful Sanctuary.

As part of our responsibility to take care of the land that is entrusted to us, we’re ensuring that our wildflower meadows thrive and continue to give birds, bees, butterflies and plants a haven where they can flourish alongside our donkeys and mules.

Butterfly on a thistle in our wildflower meadow

Plan Bee

In the late summer this year, The Donkey Sanctuary took on responsibility of an extra 20,000 residents.

However, these additional charges were deliberately recruited to assist in the pollination of our fields and gardens.

Largely self-sufficient and happy to live in a small box, our first colony of honey bees will not be able to produce honey on a commercial scale.

It is hoped that over time this area of our farms will grow and provide the charity and supporters with a sweet taste of our fabulous countryside.

James Chubb with Plan Bee

Pond Life at The Donkey Sanctuary

Our Axnoller Farm in Dorset is not just home to hundreds of our rescued donkeys but also a conservation project to reduce the growth of Himalayan balsam which was threatening the resident population of one of the rarest mammals in the British countryside.

We know we have a population of water voles in the streams and ponds at Axnoller Farm and given that numbers of these beautiful creatures have declined by an estimated 90% in the last 20 years across the UK, it is vitally important that we protect their habitat.

Pond life at Axnoller Farm

Long ears and the long eared

In the spring of 2013, repair work to the roof of Woods Farm was carried out, essential to stop water leaking through the slates when it rained! The Donkey Sanctuary knew there were bats roosting in this roof space, and so all repair work needed to be done within the guidance of a professional ecologist.

Since the work was completed in April, surveys have been carried out through the summer which confirmed that the Brown Long Eared bats are back in the roost in similar numbers to 2012 and that this job was a success.

A view over Woods Farm

Dormouse Days

Welcome to the first in a series of short films which feature the fabulous wildlife which shares the sanctuary with our donkeys. This first film is all about a little furry ginger mammal which is found in the woodlands and hedgerows around our Sidmouth Sanctuary, the dormouse. I recently had the help of lots of our visitors to create nest boxes for dormice, which have now been set up in the woods to allow us to monitor our local dormouse population and get a better understanding of how they are doing on our farms.