Donkey Sanctuary Plans Approved

A centre of excellence in the field of donkey care in Sidmounth, East Devon, is set to develop its facilities even further following a planning approval for a range of new buildings and outdoor space at the main visitor attraction, Slade Farm, and new veterinary hospital at Brookfield Farm.

Clarkebond has provided civil and structural engineering services for the development and worked with the Donkey Sanctuary, home to over 500 donkeys and located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to design specialist donkey-friendly features including shelters in the paddocks.   

The new sustainable buildings, including a visitor centre and museum, will use natural materials and a green roof and will be heated using renewable energy from a new biomass district heating system that uses a combination of wood pellets and waste generated by the donkeys.

Clarkebond is designing the structure of the buildings using the latest REVIT software and BIM standards, in conjunction with the architect and services engineer. Clarkebond are adopting these methods on the vast majority of their work and are at the forefront of design in the 3D virtual environment.

Wider plans also include the relocation of the current veterinary hospital and research centre to Brookfield Farm, where the designs have been approved for a contemporary and purpose-built hospital and research centre.

Relocating these buildings allows for more space at Slade Farm, providing a better visitor experience and allowing an area for visitors to interact with the donkeys. The facilities will also feature a new glazed entrance gallery, visitor exhibition space, a shop and a 200-seat restaurant and cafe.

Extra visitor parking and coach arrival space at the centre will be developed with eco landscaping to help blend the new facilities within the highly sensitive landscape.

Project Manager:  Robinson White
Architects: LHC