Go batty at The Donkey Sanctuary this summer 

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Monday, July 26, 2021 - 6:07pm

The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth will host East Devon’s new travelling creative space – the Creative Cabin on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 August, offering visitors free hands-on activities and the chance to learn all about one of the UK's rarest bats - the grey long-eared-bat.   

Activities at the 'Completely Batty' event include making flying bat models and bat masks, as well as putting together wildflower ‘seed bombs’, to create wildflower gardens at home. 

Visitors will also be able to join a Bat Discovery trail around the sanctuary with the charity’s Ecology and Conservation manager, Ruth Angell, to discover what's been done to help improve the landscape for bats and other native wildlife.   

Ruth said: “We strive to provide our donkeys with the highest standards of welfare. Providing our donkeys with a healthy and sustainable environment, not only supports the wildlife living on our sites, but also supports the health of our herd, providing enrichment opportunities that allow them to exhibit more of their natural behaviours.” 

John Crouch, Visitor Engagement Manager at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “It’s really exciting to be hosting the Creative Cabin at the sanctuary. As custodians of this beautiful corner of Devon, we want to encourage families to appreciate the rich and varied wildlife we are privileged to share our land with”.   

“We look forward to seeing our loyal supporters and visitors over the summer. We’ve increased our picnic areas to provide relaxing spaces to kick back and spend quality time with family and friends once again.” 

People will also be able to explore the sanctuary with the summer family activity trail, ‘An Adorably Curious Adventure’. The trail, which runs throughout the summer, takes visitors on an adventure around the sanctuary to discover the A-Z of fun donkey facts, while completing trail activities along the way. 

The Donkey Sanctuary’s award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden is free to view at the Sidmouth sanctuary. The ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden, designed to showcase the charity’s international work, won the coveted ‘BBC RHS People’s Choice Award’ in the Artisan Garden category at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and picked up the Community Award in the 2021 Association of Professional Landscapers’ awards.  

No visit to the sanctuary would be complete, without meeting some of the charity’s resident donkeys, or visiting the award-winning on-site restaurant The Kitchen, while The Gift Shop offers a wide range of donkey-inspired gifts and souvenirs.   

The ‘An Adorably Curious Adventure’ trail runs daily until Thursday 30 September and costs £5 per trail sheet and includes a prize and a sticker on completion. 

The Creative Cabin activities are free drop-in activities and run between 11am and 3pm on 9 and 10 August. Activities will be run within current covid–safe guidelines. 

The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth is open seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm. Entry to the sanctuary is free, as is parking, and dogs on leads are welcome. For further details, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/sidmouth 

The Donkey Sanctuary’s regional centres in Ivybridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Belfast remain closed to visitors for the time being. 

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