It’s Donkey Time!

If you have ever wanted to be up close and personal with a donkey to call your own then Donkey Time is an experience you will love and never forget. We are holding morning sessions where you will be working closely with founder John McLaren and sanctuary staff. Learn about donkey care and have a one-to-one experience with a donkey with grooming, taking them for a walk and more. There will be a tour of the sanctuary with John and of course lots of donkey cuddles. Makes an ideal gift for any donkey lover you may know.


The sessions cost £75 per person and are from 9.30am to 1.30pm. They are being held on the following Tuesdays: 13th August (fully booked), 10th September and 8th October. Places are limited to six per session.  For more details or an application form please contact the sanctuary or click on the ‘Events’ tab above.


You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), that comes into effect on 25th May 2018. To comply with GDPR requirements, we have updated our Privacy Statement. To learn more please click on “Privacy” at the bottom of the page.

When you wish upon a donkey…

Last year, leading up to Christmas, several of our wonderful supporters asked if there was anything special they could get the donkeys and from that developed our Amazon Wish List. The response was amazing and we have been asked if the same thing was going to be done again this year.

We are always very grateful for all the help and donations we receive, it really does make a difference and seeing as the donkeys now believe in Father Christmas we have created a new Wishlist which you can see by clicking on this link:

A popular item last year was some new feed bowls which, as you can see, the donkeys really enjoyed using.


Thank you again to all of you lovely people who continue to help us look after the donkeys in our care. Whether by donating, adopting a donkey, volunteering or just by spreading the word Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary will always be a safe and secure home for these wonderful animals. 

Oxford Town and Gown Run

We are always grateful when people put in time and effort to support the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary. Tommy Greenwood has taken a real interest in our Equine Hospital Appeal and has decided that he would like to help.

Tommy is running the 10k Oxford Town and Gown Run on Sunday 15th May to raise funds for the Hospital Appeal and he needs YOUR support.

Mable meets Tommy Greenwood

He has been training hard and is determined to do well to help the sanctuary so please sponsor Tommy by clicking on this link:

There is also sponsor forms at the sanctuary for visitors wishing to support Tommy.

Mable gives Tommy a thank you kiss!
Mable gives Tommy a thank you kiss!

Everyone at the sanctuary wish Tommy all the very best and are grateful for all his efforts for the hospital appeal.

Pollyanne wins an award!

Everyone at the Island Farm was delighted to learn that Pollyanne, the Sanctuary’s famous opera donkey, was recently awarded the Donkey Breed Society Western Region Special Donkey Cup.

The Donkey Breed Society (DBS) is a national organisation dedicated to improving knowledge and welfare of all donkeys. It aims to promote the care and management and to highlight the versatility of donkeys.

Claire Harper, Area Representative for the DBS, chose Pollyanne for all the public appearances she does, notably the many times she has appeared on stage at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London since 2006. Pollyanne has taken part in photoshoots, Church Services, visited schools, children’s hospices and care homes and has even been invited to weddings!

One of her most interesting experiences was when she was the subject of a magic trick for the BBC series ‘The Magicians’ which involved her disappearing and then reappearing hundreds of yards away.

Pollyanne with John McLaren receiving the trophy from Angela Scales
Pollyanne with John McLaren receiving the trophy from Angela Scales

The trophy was presented by Angela Scales who, with her husband Peter, work tirelessly for the DBS and helped to introduce donkey driving classes at the Island Farm Donkey Show in 2015.

Also in the photos is Tracy who has been Pollyanne’s understudy if ever she was not able to appear at an event.


Linda Chilton brings Tracy to join the presentation
Linda Chilton brings Tracy to join the presentation

 The Donkey Breed Society Western Region

The Special Donkey Cup

Don and Jean Grant from Worcester shared a love of animals and would never ignore any creature in need. They would offer the use of their stables and fields as a home for any donkeys and they loved to help care for them.

Don and Jean’s support of the Donkey Breed Society continued with them helping at Donkey Days, Sponsored Walks and were always spreading the word about donkeys, their welfare,  care and needs.

Following Don’s retirement as a Silversmith he and Jean kindly donated a trophy which was to be awarded to a donkey that has helped to promote the welfare and public awareness of donkeys in need.

Polly seems to take a great interest in her award
Pollyanne seems to take a great interest in her award