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5 Star Licence Holder


Blackberry Donkeys


Welcome to the home page of Blackberry Donkeys.  Established in 2017 by Marie Bates, Blackberry Donkeys is based in Hartlepool in the north east of England and offers licensed donkey hire.  Blackberry Donkeys hold a current 5 star licence for the highest possible donkey care and welfare standards, for their team of seven wonderful, inquisitive and friendly donkeys. 


The team of six standard sized donkeys and one miniature Mediterranean donkey, have access to 14 acres of varied grazing and shrubs, (divided into smaller fields) that enables a variety of environment enrichment choices, which along with activities and toys, ensures that these donkeys have ample opportunity to express natural behaviour in a herd, which is important for their mental and physical well-being and happiness.

Blackberry Donkeys provide a professional, knowledgeable and friendly service throughout the north east.   

Hartlepool Borough Council Licence Number: HART/RE05

 What do we offer?

  • Donkey assisted activities in schools, (educational talks), care homes and dementia centres

  • Donkey care exams

  • Meet and greets

  • Special events

  • Charity and Community events

  • Festive and Easter work

  • Story telling

  • Museums

  • TV work

  • Photograph shoots



I had a lovely day at the Donkey Breed Society Northern Region willow donkey weaving event. It was lots of fun and it was great to put a face to the names of people I have only spoken to via email or over the phone. Thank you so much ladies for making me feel so welcome. I'm really not sure what my donkeys think of the newest member of the team . To be fair it looks a bit like a giraffe cross hare cross deer, rather than a donkey ... their faces say it all really!




RAGWORT is around in various stages of growth at this time of year and it is highly poisonous to horses, donkeys and livestock. Whilst livestock can detect it is poisonous, when they are kept in fields were grass is in short supply, animals will be tempted.

Furthermore, when the plant has died off and dried out, livestock can no longer detect that it is poisonous and will readily eat it. Therefore, it is vital that this is not allowed to grow in livestock paddocks and where fields are being cut for hay. PLEASE WEAR GLOVES when pulling out RAGWORT. A Rag fork is also useful. The pictures show RAGWORT at different stages.

What are the clinical signs of ragwort poisoning in animals?

diahorrea, lethargic, depression, aggression, weight loss, abdominal pain, circling and head pressing, photosensitive skin

Whilst ragwort is the food of choice for the larvae of the cinnabar moth, when it appears in fields with livestock, it must be removed.


5 Star Licence



 'It was wonderful to have the donkeys attend our school.  The children were able to gently stroke them and ask lots of questions about their care.  The staff were highly professional and knowledgeable.'        

Mrs T


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