Easter this year has been quite busy. Mick, with Eleanor's help, decorated our bedroom, and we also managed to get quite a few jobs done in the garden.
On Sunday afternoon, we took time out to visit Hope Pastures, The Phyllis Harvey Horse & Donkey Trust which rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes horses, ponies and donkeys.
Hope Pastures is just off the Leeds ring road on Weetwood Lane and I've passed it many, many times, often remarking how I'd like to visit and see the work that they do, so whilst Mick was waiting for one coat of paint to dry before he could start on the next coat, we headed off for a look around.
This is Domino, a young horse. He came to us straight away wanting a stroke and a bit of attention. He wasn't a bit nervous of us.
Just look at that whiskery chin, so cute.
Muffin the mule, he's half pony, half donkey. He's a little bit stubborn, but what do you expect, he's a mule. You've heard the saying, as stubborn as a mule.
Banjo is a beautiful donkey who has come a long way since arriving at Hope Pastures. He'd been found frightened and underweight at a horse market where his owner was seen hitting him. He'd travelled a long way and was tired and thirsty, but no one wanted to buy him so a kind person bid £63 to save his life and he ended up at Hope Pastures. He's now got a friend, another donkey called Coco who arrived at Hope Pastures around the same time and Banjo has learnt a lot from him and isn't quite so nervous anymore.
Every horse, pony or donkey here has got a story, but it's wonderful to see them enjoying life again. There's plenty of space for them and they each seem to have their own special friend.
The 'Gone but not forgotten' wall shows how special each of these animals are, even when they're no longer here, they're still remembered.
Resident turkey. He has his own little door in the gate so that he can come and go as he likes.
The staff were so friendly, happy to answer any questions we had. It seems they're passionate about education and that's one of the reasons why they offer Pony Days in the school holidays where as well as having fun, the children can be taught about the importance of animal welfare and the work of the organisation. It really is easy for families, groups and organisations to get involved with the work of the sanctuary as there's regular events throughout the year where the public are able to get involved.
Hope Pastures is open to the public every day of the year free of charge. The visitor centre is open at weekends and bank holidays with activities, information, souvenirs and refreshments. If you're in the area why not pop in?