Donkeys to make beach return

IN years gone by it was as much a seaside tradition as kiss-me-quick hats and a stick of rock.And now, after an absence of 40 years, donkey rides will be returning to a Suffolk beach in time for the summer.

Mark Lord

IN years gone by it was as much a seaside tradition as kiss-me-quick hats and a stick of rock.

And now, after an absence of 40 years, donkey rides will be returning to a Suffolk beach in time for the summer.

Korky, Billy, Henry and Noddy will be on Lowestoft beach, below the CEFAS building, entertaining children with short rides along the golden sand.


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Beach donkeys were once seen throughout the country's major seaside resorts, but through the 1970s numbers began to decline. However, with more and more holidaymakers looking for more traditional seaside breaks, it is hoped that the donkeys will once again become a welcome asset to the town.

Oulton Broad-based Lydia Ward, who will operate the donkey rides in Lowestoft, said: “I am thrilled to be able to bring back donkey rides and look forward to entertaining visitors and locals on the beach.”

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She added: “I am reasonably new to this, but I have wanted to do it for a long time. I moved to north Suffolk four year ago and soon realised that that this kind of seaside tradition is missing from Suffolk and with more people wanting to return to more traditional holiday pastimes.

“Two years ago I decided to get involved, so I went on donkey sanctuary courses and I did a lot of homework before I was ready to get my own team of donkeys together.

“All of the donkeys have been involved in this kind of work before - three of the donkeys come from Skegness and one from great Yarmouth.

“Donkey rides are part of our seaside heritage and people really want to see them return.”

Tony Gittins, chairman of Lowestoft Tourism Regeneration Group, said: “Donkey rides are a welcome traditional family treat. I am sure they will prove popular and wish them all the best.”

Each of the donkeys receives a full annual veterinary check to ensure they are fit and healthy for the rides. Operational procedures and national guidelines will be followed to protect the welfare of each of the animals.

Korky, Billy, Henry and Noddy will be on Lowestoft seafront at weekends between 11am and 4pm, and once the school holidays start the donkeys will be on the beach five days per week.

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