A trailer load of wildflower meadow hay arrives at the Clovelly Donkey stables
Clovelly Donkeys, which manage the upkeep of the donkeys who live in the famous Devon coastal village, have recently taken delivery of a trailer load of delicious, wildflower meadow hay, donated to them by another Devon not for profit organisation, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden at Rosemoor.
The donkeys, which are owned and managed independently, have been an intrinsic part of the Clovelly Estate for many hundreds of years and traditionally have been used to haul goods up the steep cobbled streets. They have a total of 12 donkeys and 2 mules, the youngest being just a fluff ball at 7 weeks old!
“The money we need to feed and look after the donkeys is down to the generosity of visitors’ donations and from donkey rides,” said owner Bart Kelly. He went on to say, “We are dedicated to demonstrating that it is perfectly possible to operate a herd of working donkeys to the highest welfare standards, and this has been recognised by the Donkey Sanctuary on many occasions. The Clovelly donkeys really appreciate this gift at a time like this and are also delighted that Rosemoor is being so pro-active in helping our environment.”
Rosemoor in Torrington, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, has been developing the wildflower meadows over the decades. It is now one of best parts of Rosemoor and attracts thousands of both human and wildlife visitors each year. Starting in late spring, they are bright yellow from field buttercups. They then turn to a purple and white haze in the summer as the knapweed and oxeye daisies take over. The Meadows are a magnet for insects, which are so important to pollinate the fruit and vegetables nearby.
Once they have finished flowering and set seed, charms of goldfinches flock to feed before the meadows are cut and baled. The delicious organic wildflower meadow hay is then donated to a worthy cause. This year the Rosemoor team, including Phil Peard and Felix Bishop, delivered and unloaded 100 bales of the hay into the Clovelly Donkeys’ barn.
Phil Peard, Horticulturist at Rosemoor and responsible for cutting and baling the hay said of the gesture “We are really pleased to help support places each year like Clovelly Donkeys especially at the moment during these difficult times. We really hope that the donkeys enjoy their little piece of Rosemoor just like all of our visitors do”.
For more information rhs.org.uk/Rosemoor. All visits need to be booked online, please.