Donkeys could possibly do nature’s donkey work after all!
The gentle and playful animals will soon be part of a conservation scheme to reintroduce one of the UK’s rarest farmland wildflowers.
The international animal welfare charity, Donkey Sanctuary, has planted more than 20,000 small-flowered catchfly seeds on farmland at its Devon headquarters.
Rescued donkeys will walk over sown seeds to boost the germination chances of the wildflower.
According to research, the plant has vanished from around 70% of its former range – agricultural expansion and the increased use of herbicide have resulted in the disappearance of the catchfly from northern England.
Ruth Angell, The Donkey Sanctuary Ecology and Conservation Manager, said: “Increasing biodiversity is essential for an enriched and resilient environment which can support rare species as well as our resident herds of donkeys.”