Donkey garden wins top public award at Chelsea Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 13:53 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:35 29 May 2019

Annie Prebensen, one of the garden's designers, with the People's Choice award. Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

Annie Prebensen, one of the garden's designers, with the People's Choice award. Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

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The people have spoken as The Donkey Sanctuary wins top award at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Joanna Lumley appears at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: RHS / Luke MacGregor.Joanna Lumley appears at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: RHS / Luke MacGregor.

The animal charity were the recipients of the sought-after 'BBC RHS People's Choice Award' in the Artisan Garden category. The award is voted for by the public attending the show.

It was the second award of the flower show after the Donkeys Matter garden clinched a silver award from the judges in the same category.

Among the guest list at the Chelsea Flower Show was Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley.

The garden was designed to showcase the charity's international work over the last 50 years.

The garden won a silver award at the show. Picture: The Donkey SanctuaryThe garden won a silver award at the show. Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

Its key feature is a path to represent the many journeys donkeys carry out, on behalf of communities, to support their livelihoods. The garden also includes a shelter and a well with a dripping bucket.

The garden will be brought back to Sidmouth for visitors to enjoy.

Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, said: "What incredible news to end a fantastic week. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for our garden.

"This is a win not only for us, but for hard-working donkeys around the world.

Joanna Lumley appears at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show at the Donkey Sanctuary garden. Picture: RHS / Luke MacGregor.Joanna Lumley appears at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show at the Donkey Sanctuary garden. Picture: RHS / Luke MacGregor.

"To our garden designers, Annie and Christina, thank you for showcasing why Donkeys Matter in such a beautiful way."

The attraction achieved further success at the weekend after retaining its title as Devon's Best Family Attraction at the 2019 Muddy Stilettos awards.

The popular blog asked its 12,000 subscribers to vote for their favourite attractions across its award categories.

John Crouch, visitor engagement manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: "We are delighted to be chosen as the county's Best Family Attraction in the Muddy Stilettos Awards.

"It is made all the more special as it is our 50th anniversary and that the award was chosen by our visitors."

The attraction is hosting a range of events during the May half-term week including its golden carrot hunt, which is running until July 11.

Visitors can also sign up for its 'dawdle for donkeys' fundraising walk and meet some of the adorable resident donkeys.

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