Freshfields Donkey Village is home to the Michael Elliot Trust, a charity founded in 1991 with the aim of providing sanctuary for abused, neglected or abandoned donkeys and providing a safe place where children with special needs can adopt a donkey and can participate in feeding, grooming and general care during their visit. 

To date, more than 600 donkeys have been cared for by the Trust and thousands of children have benefited from the experience of grooming, feeding and making friends with these beautiful, gentle and loving creatures.

The Trust has many esteemed patrons.  Pictured here is patron Dame Judy Dench, with John and Annie Stirling, who created the charity.  President of the Trust is Actress June Brown

John Stirling, an actor by profession, and his wife Annie, who also worked in the theatre and later became one of the country's top costume designers and dressmakers, found themselves at Chelford Livestock Market as part of research John was doing after having been asked to write a play for Patricia Hayes.  What they saw there shocked them.  Looking at two neglected and abused donkeys they knew they had to act.  They bid for and bought these donkeys and gave them a loving home.  This act of compassion was to grow and become the Trust and Sanctuary.

Make the most of your lovely day out with these beautiful animals and then enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea at Annie's Tea Room*.  Take a picnic and eat in the memorial garden*, dedicated to those friends who have travelled on to the Big Donkey Meadow In The Sky.




This lovely little chap is Conker.  He came to the sanctuary as a foal.  He was very distressed, having been separated from his mum for the first time, and not having been fully weaned.  
John and Annie desperately wanted to take his mother too, 
but the Breeders refused, as they planned to continue to breed from her. With time and loving care, Conker is now a friendly and confident donkey


Meet Tickety-Boo.  A sucker for a stroke and a
cuddle, Tickety-Boo is an absolute delight. 
She has been adopted by Billy Connolly,
whose production company shares her name.

Freshfields Donkey Village
The Michael Elliott Trust
Freshfields Farm
Peak Forest
SK17 8EE
Tel: 01298 79775

donkey village website

* an additional small charge is made for use of these facilities

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