Animal sanctuary near Skegness preparing for difficult winter

Alan the donkey, star of the book, with the sanctuary's resident Santa Claus.
Alan the donkey, star of the book, with the sanctuary's resident Santa Claus.

A donkey sanctuary near Alford is preparing for a harsh winter caring for its 59 residents - and hoping sales of a Christmas book will raise awareness of what they do.

Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft is desperately appealing for funds towards the £9,000 costs of building a winter shelter to accommodate its increased number of donkeys.

Tracy's book.

Tracy's book.

Two of the resident donkeys, Hector and Genie, are over 40 years of age, and owner Tracy Garton says they have ‘big concerns’ for how they will cope.

Site volunteer gary Thornton set up a Justgiving page to help boost the charity’s funds - which have been reduced greatly by a number of veterinary bills. So fair it has raised just over £1,000. This can be found at

Sanctuary owner Tracy Garton wrote a book last year, called Alan The Christmas Donkey - featuring the heartwarming true story of a little donkey who helped save the sanctuary that had taken him in. So far it has garnered an impressive 41 four-five star reviews on Amazon - and in the national press, including the Daily Express, which called it ‘warm, funny and charming’.

Tracy said: “I have loads of letters saying how much they enjoyed the book so it has been good for raising awareness of the sanctuary.”

The book has sold around 38,000 copies although the sanctuary sees very little royalties from its sales. “I think it raises awareness of the sanctuary more than funds, so not a bad thing,” added Tracy.

The book is available on Amazon, priced £7.99 for the paperback or £5 for the Kindle version.

If you can help Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary visit, where you can donate via Paypal, or call 01673 842448.