Thumbelina, is a 16 months old miniature donkey from Mersea Island, near Colchester, and like Patrick our celebrity pony, is training to be a therapy equid to work with children. She lives with Jude Pearce who says they used Walk for War Horse as an opportunity to do some exploring around the glorious Essex countryside near their home.
Jude says :”The plan was for Thumbelina and myself to complete the walks together. However, Thumbelina wasn’t comfortable leaving our field by herself, so my other donkeys – Tartan, who’s five months old and her mum Tailor – had to accompany us. This meant we had to rely on family members to join us on our walks and limit the distance to take into account Tartan’s age. With this in mind we built up our visits gradually and completed the rest of our walks in our field. We didn’t add up the total distance walked as our aim was to raise awareness of the War Horse Memorial by interacting with as many people as possible.”
Jude has shared her diary with us and tells us their walks have had a huge impact on team Pearce and the people they met on the way.
April 1 – 5; We completed our walks on the field as it was a very busy Easter weekend on our Island (despite lockdown)
6th – 9th; Field walks each lasting 30 minutes, various distances depending on Thumbelina’s enthusiasm.
The Strood Soldiers was a memorial created by Mersea resident and RAF veteran Duncan Pittock in November 2018, to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War. It is made up of 51 steel silhouettes of soldiers who came from Mersea Island and the surrounding villages and lost their lives during Word War One. The soldiers were erected each side of the Strood, the causeway that links Mersea to the mainland, and stood guard for a year. A spectacular sight. In 2019 the Soldiers were auctioned for charity and manylof them now have their final resting place outside their original homes.
Wednesday 14; Visit to Cudmore Grove Country Park
Thursday 15; Rest day
Friday 16; Cudmore Grove x 2
Saturday 17/ Sunday 18; Field walks
Monday 19; Visit to the beach
Tuesday 20/ Wednesday 21; Field walk and maypole practise
Thursday 22; Walk down the lane and visit to Dabchicks Sailing Club
Friday 23; Rest day
Saturday 24; Walk around the village, West Mersea
Sunday 25; Visit to East Mersea Youth Camp
Monday 26; Field walk
Tuesday 27; Visit to the Strood Soldiers and Waldegrave’s Caravan Park and the silhouette of Frederick Beckett Bennett, who served in the 6th London Divisional Field Ambulance. He was killed in action in 1916, aged 20. His war grave is in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Pas de Calais.
Tuesday 13; Field walk
Wednesday 28/Thursday 29; Field walk
Friday 30; Visit to Essex Wildlife Trust at Abberton Reservoir.
Jude tells us that Thumbelina and Tartan are going to continue their walks in May and June, as they’ve had so many requests to visit different places. This will also help with Thumbelina’s therapy training. A big thank you to the Pearce family and to all of you who tool part to help us raise vital funds for equine and animal rescue centres. Don’t forget to send your photos and information to Margaret at email@example.com so we can share with our growing army of volunteers and friends.