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Joy at donkey pitch boost

Working Donkey Awards at Blackpool Town Hall. Marlen and Suzzana Edge (best group of working donkeys).

Working Donkey Awards at Blackpool Town Hall. Marlen and Suzzana Edge (best group of working donkeys).

A move to increase the number of places donkeys can work from on Blackpool beach has been welcomed.

Blackpool Council is proposing to return the number of pitches on the beach back up to 25, from 15, after the number was reduced in 2007 when work to build the new Promenade restricted access to the sands.

Licensing chiefs are also consulting with the trade over changes to the council’s policy which will ban operators from informally swapping pitches between themselves.

Suzanna Edge, who has 30 donkeys which work on the beach at different times, said the return to 25 pitches was welcomed.

She said: “Ours is a family business and this means we can go up to five pitches, from three, and it will help maintain the future of the business which I have planned for through my breeding programme. We have a five year breeding programme and have donkeys waiting to come onto the beach for the first time.

“We have five pitches so we don’t need to swap anyway.

“However some pitches are better than others, depending on the tides for example on different days.

“We don’t use them all every day. It is good we now have access to the full beach again.”

The council is currently going out to consultation with the trade over the changes.

It wants to ban the swapping of pitches so enforcement officers always know which operator is working on a particular part of the beach at any time.

But Mrs Edge said it was always clear who was working where.

She added; “The public know exactly who we are because we have a board in front of the donkeys with our name on, and it says ‘Edge Donkeys’ on our uniforms.”

 

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