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About Us

About Us

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


Blackberry donkeys team currently consists of 6 wonderful standard donkeys and 1 amazing miniature Mediterranean donkey, who visit schools for educational talks and donkey assisted sessions, as well as care homes, hospices, churches, museums and community groups.  Blackberry donkeys are also available to hire for special events.  In addition to this Blackberry Donkeys can also offer donkey care examinations through the Donkey Breed Society.


Blackberry Donkeys hold a current 5 star licence, under the animal health and welfare laws, for the highest possible donkey care and welfare standards, (HART/RE05).  The donkeys have access to modern stabling and a yard, as well as having their own permanent secure fields and paddocks, (14 acres).  The donkeys have a variety of environment enrichment choices, activities and toys, which support natural herd behaviour and play, which is important for their physical and mental well-being and happiness.  We also have a 5 year planting scheme, which is due to get underway later in the year!   


The business was set up by Marie Bates.  After leaving her career as a 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 for her equestrian work, as well achieving an assessor teaching certificate.  She wanted to combine her love of working with animals, (and passion for everything donkey related), and children, and have a more flexible career and this led to the establishment of Blackberry Donkeys in May 2017.     


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".



Why hire Blackberry Donkeys?

* 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

* Qualified NVQ equestrian assessor

*Qualified equestrian instructor

* Over 30 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 equestrian work

* Personalised risk assessments

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