Play time! New sand arena a hit with rescued equines

Seven-year-old Martha the mule is pictured jumping for joy on a new sand exercise facility at The Donkey Sanctuary.
Seven-year-old Martha the mule jumps for joy on a new sand exercise facility at The Donkey Sanctuary. © Elizabeth Hyde/The Donkey Sanctuary

Rescued donkeys and mules at Town Barton Farm in central Devon frolicked with glee at their first taste of their new play area.
A new sand exercise arena has been built at the farm run by The Donkey Sanctuary, home to more than 300 rescued and relinquished donkeys and mules on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.

Leg stretch: Residents at Town Barton Farm enjoy a run on the new sand exercise area. © Elizabeth Hyde/The Donkey Sanctuary

Through her lens, Farm Supervisor Elizabeth Hyde captured the uplifting moment the donkeys and mules explored their new facility for the first time at the charity’s Town Barton Farm.

The new sand facility offers a new year-round exercise area for the residents, providing enhanced enrichment, and the perfect environment for keeping their hooves is good clean condition.

© Elizabeth Hyde/The Donkey Sanctuary

Town Barton’s Farm Manager Paul Cater said: “It was very rewarding to watch the animals being free to express themselves as they explored their new sand area for the first time. This is a wonderful new facility that will enrich the lives of our donkeys and mules.”

The farm, set in the rolling green hills of central Devon, is about hour’s drive from The Donkey Sanctuary’s international headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon. Town Barton Farm is not open to the public.

© Elizabeth Hyde/The Donkey Sanctuary

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