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Birmingham Donkey Assisted (Riding) Therapy Centre
Our home, the Birmingham DAT centre is situated in Sutton Coldfield in the heart of Sutton Park's peaceful woodland.
Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, being some 2,400 acres (900 hectares) in area. Already a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it gained National Nature Reserve (NNR) status in March 1997. This is a remarkable achievement as the park is situated just 7 miles (11 km) from the centre of Birmingham, the UK's second largest city.
Seldom is such a large expanse of varied 'rural' habitat found so close to the heart of a major city. Standing in the middle of Sutton Park, it is hard for a visitor to believe that the Park is surrounded on all sides by suburban sprawl.
The park is very popular among dog owners as a place to walk their pets and is a fantastic place for dogs to explore with pools, lakes, streams, woodlands, paths, heaths, all manner of types of habitat found, many hours can be lost.
At certain times of the year however, dogs can disturb ground nesting birds. The loss of some such species in the Longmoor Valley has been of great concern in recent years. Birds such as Lapwing and Water Rail no longer breed and species such as Partridge, Pheasant, Snipe and Jack Snipe are increasingly threatened. Those walking with dogs are asked to keep them on a lead during April, May and June in all open areas of the park.
You can visit us, before or after your walk and bring your dog. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and offer your dog a drink. We welcome pets. Expect to meet ours!
We are part of The Donkey Sanctuary and we offer donkey assisted and riding therapy to individuals with special needs within our local community. We have been offering this therapy for over 40 years. We were originally part of EST, a sister charity founded by Dr Elizabeth Svendsen, the founder of the Donkey Sanctuary. The two charities were merged in January 2012.
Up to 200 children with special needs from 20 local schools in the city and surrounding areas benefit from donkey riding therapy with us each week. Our aim is to bring enjoyment and pleasure into their lives and to give them the satisfaction that comes with the achievement of learning riding skills.
We also visit residential homes, hospitals and schools with our donkeys.
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