Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary is a registered charity that cares for abused and ill-treated donkeys and other animals in the village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell near Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Although we do not actively rescue other animals, those that have joined us in recent years include a sheep, some goats, chickens, geese, ducks and a pot bellied pig called Percy.

We welcome visitors between 11am and 4pm daily. Although we do not charge an entrance fee, donations are appreciated. We are unable to allow dogs in the main yard as donkeys and strange dogs do not mix. Donkeys wander around the yard so this rule is for your dogs safety. Dogs are allowed in the front paddock walkway on a lead. 

 

Visit Us

Visitors are welcome. We are open every day except Christmas Day. Opening hours are 11am to 4pm and as advertised in cases of special events – see the Events section. There is no entrance fee but donations are appreciated. We are unable to allow dogs in the main yard as donkeys and strange dogs do not mix. Donkeys wander around the yard so this rule is for your dogs safety. Dogs are allowed in the front paddock walkway on a lead. 

The cafe is open most weekends and school holidays and on some other weekdays, by arrangement. There is also a gift shop area in the visitor centre where you can buy souvenirs such as donkey toys, magnets, tea towels and ceramic goods. All proceeds go to support our animal rescue work and the long term care of our animals.

Groups visit are also welcome, for example schools, youth groups, day centres, senior citizen organizations and so on. If you would like to arrange a group visit or if you would like to visit a specific donkey e.g. one of the adoption donkeys, please contact us in advance. Then we can help you get the most out of your visit and, of course, let you know if your particular donkey will be at the sanctuary when you hope to visit – some of the donkeys are occasionally out helping to raise funds for the sanctuary by appearing at shows and events.

When the weather is fair many of the donkeys are outside in the fields. Visitors are welcome to walk along to the fields from where you’ll be able to see a lot of donkeys, some at close quarters. By all means say hello to the donkeys grazing or relaxing close to the fencing but please do not feed the donkeys.

All the donkeys at Island Farm are well taken of and fed healthy food. However, not all of the donkeys are able to eat the usual equine snacks and may be harmed if given food items that are inappropriate for a particular donkey so please, don’t offer any snacks or treats.

 

Volunteer

Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary only functions due to the generosity of the public. There are many ways you can help out, not just by giving money. If you are able to give some of your own time to help out with the variety of work that needs doing at the donkey sanctuary, please get in touch with us. We are always keen to hear from new volunteers. Perhaps you have special skills or experience that you feel can benefit the Donkey Sanctuary or maybe you just want to give some of your time to come and help look after the donkeys. In either case, please get in touch.

Tasks undertaken by our volunteers include:

  • Helping to look after the donkeys, including
  • Yard work such as mucking-out stables, ensuring clean water is available and all areas are clean, tidy and safe for both people and animals.
  • Preparing food for the donkeys
  • Grooming and day-to-day donkey health checks
  • Helping with admin tasks in the office e.g. with mail outs to our supporters
  • Fundraising at the sanctuary e.g. working in the cafe and gift shop, helping at our events – many of which take place at weekends
  • Fundraising for the sanctuary by organizing other events such as cake sales or coffee mornings
  • Collecting and donating things that the sanctuary can use to raise funds to help the donkeys. Examples of things we collect include
  • Used postage stamps – from any country worldwide, incl. UK
  • Used printer cartridges

If you have other items to donate please contact us to find out if we can use them.

Volunteers are asked to register their interest by completing a volunteer information form –  IFDS Volunteer Form. Please note that we are unable to offer lifts to volunteers so you would need to provide your own transport to get to the sanctuary.

Contact / Enquiry

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