VIDEO: Award-winning Chelsea Flower Show donkey garden on display in Sidmouth

An award-winning garden design that shines a spotlight on the importance donkeys make to the world’s poorest communities is on show in Sidmouth.

The Donkeys Matter artisan garden scooped the people’s choice award, and a silver medal in the judges’ awards, at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in May.

Now the garden has returned home to The Donkey Sanctuary, where it has been painstakingly rebuilt and will be on show, for free, from Monday, July 15.

The garden design highlights water and how donkeys are pivotal to supplying it to some of the world’s poorest and vulnerable communities.

The message created through the garden shows how a donkey fetching water for a community can free up women to work, and children to go to school.

A spokesman for The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Using water as its central theme, the artisan garden encapsulates the interdependency between people and their working donkeys.

“It demonstrates how owning a donkey means access to clean, fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.”

A key garden design feature is a path, representing the many journeys donkeys carry out on behalf of communities to support their livelihoods; the garden also features a shelter and a well with a dripping bucket.

“In places like Namibia, Lamu, Somaliland and Ethiopia, donkeys are used to collect water for entire communities,” the spokesman added.

“A donkey will often collect 40 to 60 litres of water at one time.

“The simple act of a donkey carrying water reduces the time required to access it, freeing children to get an education and women to be economically active.”

The garden was designed by Annie Prebensen and Christina Williams, from North Devon, and features plants and trees representing dry climates.

It was funded by a supporter of The Donkey Sanctuary with the aim of boosting the charity’s profile.

Watch the video of The Donkey Sanctuary Chelsea Flower Show garden being rebuilt at the charity’s Sidmouth HQ.

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