Banner button link to the Michael Elliott Trust website

Welcome to Freshfields Donkey Village, home of The Michael Elliott Trust…. where children and donkeys help each other.

Playing hide and seekThis unique charity not only rescues and cares for donkeys which have been abandoned, mistreated or neglected but also use the donkeys to work with children with special needs. Invariably, child and donkey form a close relationship of trust and affection which is of great therapeutic value to them both.

Freshfields Donkey Village is managed by John and Annie Stirling who, in 1988, found themselves bidding for two sad, neglected donkeys (lots 73 and 74) at a livestock market. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, born of compassion and a determination to save these noble animals from further mistreatment – even though they had nowhere to keep them and no idea how they were going to look after them. 18 years later, more than 600 donkeys have been cared for by the Trust and thousands of children have benefited from the experience of grooming, feeding and making friends with one of these gentle, sensitive creatures.

Afternoon teaOur Donkeys love to greet their visitors and hope that you will choose to visit them here at Freshfields Donkey Village in the most peaceful and panoramic Derbyshire Peak District. Annie’s Tea Room provides an additional opportunity to purchase a rare and truly unique traditional afternoon tea experience; the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon with the donkeys. The tea room is also available for ladies groups and those wishing to take tea on a country outing (reservations required during busier periods for group bookings).

Our new picnic and memorial area dedicated to our friends and donkeys who have travelled on to the ‘Big Donkey Meadow In The Sky’ is now open.

We hope you enjoy viewing this site and that you choose to visit Freshfields Donkey Village.

Opening times
24th March to 1st November: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 4:30pm.
1st November to 1st December: Weekends only.

Mondays and Tuesdays: This time is devoted to the Michael Elliott Trust for children with special needs.