James lands new role among Sidmouth’s donkeys

PUBLISHED: 11:45 25 November 2011

James Chubb, co-ordinator of events and activities teams at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

James Chubb, co-ordinator of events and activities teams at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

Archant

Wildlife expert James settles into new role at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

AFTER seven “fabulous” years working for East Devon District Council’s Countryside Team, James Chubb has filled a newly-created post at Sidmouth’s Donkey Sanctuary.

James, 33, will co-ordinate existing events and education teams at the charity and “explore potential wildlife and environmental projects in partnership with other teams at the Donkey Sanctuary.”

In his first management role, James, who lives with wife Jo and young daughter Ellie in Exeter, said there was “huge potential” to investigate land at the charity’s seven farms in East Devon.

And, instead of conducted guided walks around the district’s nature reserves, such as Fire Beacon Hill, he hopes to offer similar donkey walks and trails on Sanctuary land.

While describing his time as EDDC’s education ranger as “brilliant, the job I wanted to do since a boy of seven,” with his involvement in the formation of the Axe Wetlands one of his proudest achievements, James said the scope of what was on offer at the Donkey Sanctuary was “interesting and too good an opportunity to miss.

“So off I went to the top of the hill.”

He feels there is an area of growth, rather than something new, in the area of wildlife at the farms, which his expertise will nurture. He also believes there is scope to share knowledge with former colleagues.

“These farms are all quiet corners of the country with the potential for the most fabulous wildlife in amongst them.

“Part of my job is getting out there and doing an audit of what is there, slowly working my way around and coming up with what is achievable.

“It is a blank canvas that needs exploring. It is up to me to make a case of what we can do.”

James wants to increase the biodiversity of the site in a way that impacts on the donkeys’ lives.

“For example, if we can increase the number of bats in the area we increase the number of animals eating flies.”

He will be talking with the Sanctuary’s head scientist to “increase environmental interest” such as providing patches of scrub which is good for insects “and gives donkeys interest in the field.

“Initially these will be pilots, testing to find out what works. It is a really exciting project to be a part of.”

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