Blackberry donkeys are based in Hartlepool in the north east of England and began trading in May 2017. 


Blackberry donkeys currently have 4 standard donkeys which provide rides on Seaton Carew beach, attend charity days, schools, churches, fairs and fetes and festive events.  The donkeys are also available to hire for children’s birthday parties and other special events.  They also have 1 miniature donkey who can attend care homes and hospices for cuddles and petting.  Blackberry Donkeys can also offer donkey care examinations through the Donkey Breed Society.


Blackberry Donkeys hold a current 5 star licence, (HART/RE05), and the donkeys have access to modern stabling and a yard, as well as having their own permanent secure fields and paddocks on the farm where they live. 


The business was set up by Marie Bates.  After leaving her career as primary school teacher, back in December 2016, she subsequently worked as a college lecturer in primary education for a short time, before she decided that she wanted to pursue a new challenge.  She had previously worked self-employed as a horse riding instructor, and prior to that had worked as a qualified riding school instructor.  She loved working with horses and showjumping and achieved her NVQ’s in horse care, with a medal of excellence for her work from the examining board in London, as well achieving an assessor teaching certificate.  She wanted to combine her love of working with animals and children, and have a more flexible career and this led to the establishment of Blackberry Donkeys in May 2017.     

About Us

Why choose to work with donkeys?

"Donkeys are loveable and smart, with a keen sense of curiosity.  I have always found donkeys fascinating.  I have longed to work with them and now enjoy sharing my knowledge of these wonderful animals with others, as well as continuing to broaden my own knowledge of this member of the equidae family.  Having the opportunity to work with my own donkeys and young people is absolutely amazing".


* Professional friendly service

* Licensed by the local authority

* 5 star Licence holder (HART/RE05)

* 5 million pounds public liability insurance

* Every event is risk assessed

* Calm trained donkeys

* Reasonable rates

* A wide variety of events catered for

* Qualified NVQ equestrian assessor

*Qualified equestrian instructor

* Over 25 years experience with horse and ponies in a variety of disciplines.

* Owner/operator DBS checked

* Qualified primary school teacher

* Medal of excellence award winner for horse care

* Personalised risk assessments

Why hire Blackberry donkeys?