Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Donkeys do their bit for a 'car free' Devon

Henry loves to visit The Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth, Devon which is near where we live.  Now the Sidmouth-based international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, is turning to unusual methods to contribute to Devon Car Free Day on Thursday 22 September 2011.

 Photo courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary is proud to be supporting this Devon County Council initiative to promote sustainable travel and encourage people to see the financial, health and environmental benefits of leaving the car at home.

For one day only, the morning and afternoon post at the charity’s headquarters will be delivered to staff by Barney the donkey, who will carry panniers of post between offices on the site. In a nod towards sustainability, staff who live locally are also being encouraged to join in a mass walking commute to and from work on Car Free Day.

Emma Gill, PR Officer for The Donkey Sanctuary, says:

“Devon Car Free Day provides the perfect opportunity for the charity to join others in raising awareness of the importance of sustainability whilst also highlighting the important role that donkeys play in transportation around the world. 

“Donkeys are vital to many communities in developing countries where motorised transport is either unavailable or not affordable. In the course of our overseas work we have seen donkeys doing everything from transporting bricks to brick kilns in India, to carrying water and essential supplies to families in drought-striken Ethiopia and Kenya. In Mexico, some donkeys have even taken on the role of the school bus, transporting children to and from schools which may be some distance away. Barney’s post run on Devon Car Free Day is a symbolic reminder of the origins of these hard-working animals.”

Barney, one of the charity’s popular outreach donkeys, also stars in The Donkey Sanctuary’s new, free, online donkey care game “Me and My Donkey”, a virtual look at donkey care and welfare with a fun twist. To play the game, please visit

To find out more about The Donkey Sanctuary’s work overseas, please visit

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