Sanctuary reopens Monday 17th May

We are pleased to announce that the Sanctuary will be reopening to visitors from Monday 17th May.

Visits can only be arranged by BOOKING through a dedicated telephone number which will be posted on our website and Facebook page soon. The sanctuary office will not be able to take bookings.

The donkeys and staff will be waiting to welcome visitors and we are working hard to make sure everyone will be safe. Thank you all for your patience and support and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

RIP Loppy

We are very sad to announce that we had to say goodbye this afternoon to Loppy, our Andalucian donkey who had been with us for 25 years. She became unwell last Saturday and we called the vet who gave her some treatment. Sunday saw no improvement and we had visits from 4 different vets throughout the week. The last vet was from Hook Norton Veterinary Practice who carried out a ultrasound and endoscope examinations and they diagnosed internal bleeding, probably due to a ruptured stomach ulcer. She could not digest any food and her condition deteriorated rapidly today. We did not want to put Loppy through any more treatments, she was very unwell and seemed to give up. 
As you can imagine everyone at the sanctuary are already missing her, she had been part of our lives for such a long time.

Remembrance Day for all animals lost to conflict

Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day, is on 11th November. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. A two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember the people who have died in wars. During those two minutes please consider the countless animals that have died in conflict.

In Memory of Lee Kerslake

Lee Kerslake was an English musician, best known as the longtime drummer and backing vocalist for the rock band Uriah Heep and for his work with Ozzy Osbourne in the early 1980s. Lee was born in Winton, near Bournemouth, Dorset in 1947 and started playing drums when he was 11 years old. His first professional gig was with ‘The Gods’ in 1969 and went on to record two albums with the band. He later played with Toe Fat and National Head Band before linking up with Uriah Heep in November 1971 with whom he made 17 albums.

Lee loved animals and wanted to visit Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary as he had a particular fondness for donkeys. Sadly, Lee passed away before this could happen. He is survived by his wife Sue and his family has generously asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers.
To donate to Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary in Memory of Lee please click on this link:

Calor Community Fund Update

Our application to the Calor Rural Community Fund (CRCF) has been up and running since the 4th June and we would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported it. However, one thing has become clearer to us: The more points we earn from likes and shares the more successful our application will be BUT they have to from the actual CRCF web page itself, not on social media.

It is the first time we have done something like this and it has been a learning curve for us. So, to clarify: We are judged based on how many likes, shares & donations our page gets:

The ‘like’ button is the big red Like button on the bottom right hand side of the video. Any shares to social media should come from the social media buttons below the LIKE button for it to count. What is a pain is that you have to create an account to like the page, this is to avoid repeated likes/shares from one individual which skews things.

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary needs you!

Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the sanctuary has been closed to the public for almost 3 months now. This has negatively affected the income we depend on from visitors as well the fact our annual country show and donkey show were cancelled. In response to this we have been channelling all of our funds into the care and upkeep of the donkeys, this includes diverting money that had been set aside for sanctuary refurbishments.


We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Calor Rural Community Fund to upgrade our visitor facilities at the sanctuary. We need your help to get us through to the final stage with the chance to win the £5000 award! Simply click on this link to find out more:


Our chances of winning are greatly improved with help from all our supporters. If you can do any of the following it is much appreciated. You can help by:

– Liking this post
– Sharing this post
– Donating to this appeal
A big thank you from the donkeys and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Country Show 2020

This weekend (23rd and 24th May) would have been our annual Country Show. It goes without saying that we are very sad to lose this event and not be able to welcome so many of you lovely visitors. For anyone who is, like us, missing what would have been a great weekend you can see a video showing the highlights of last years show on Youtube with this link:

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Coronavirus (Corvid-19)

Important information about Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary.
Taking all the advice given by both the Government and Health England, the Trustees and Managers of Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary have decided that the Sanctuary will be closed to the public and volunteers as from midday on Tuesday March 17th 2020 until further notice.
We have a duty of care to all our staff and volunteers who tend and look after our 130 donkeys and other animals. In order for this work to continue, we must provide guidance for all our staff and volunteers which we have done.
All fund raising events have been cancelled and there will no Table Top Sales, Craft Fairs or Flea Market events until further notice. Unfortunately this includes the two day Country Show at the end of May and our Donkey Show in June. We are doing everything we can to keep you informed and thank you all for your support.
People can still buy Donkey Adoptions through our website. Unfortunately, people cannot visit their adopted donkey on Mother’s Day, over Easter or at any other time until we are able to re-open.
We are sure you will understand that we must safeguard our staff and maintain care for our donkeys and other animals. Although the Sanctuary is closed do continue to keep in touch with us – we will need all the support we can get.
To contact the Sanctuary, you can do so by:
Phone: 01491 833938
All our staff will be working their normal hours and we will be pleased to hear from you.

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.