Amid rising petrol prices, the villagers in a Gloucestershire village have come up with an entirely eco-friendly solution. The steep slopes (sometimes 1 in 2) of Chalford have long been a problem for cars to negotiate. The most thriving business seemed to be 'Coggins Transmissions' who were constantly changing clutches and gearboxes every few months.
The Parish council have purchased two donkeys to help the 30 or so residents lug their shopping home. Chester, a one year-old, and Teddy, four years-old. have four legs each and are ideally suited to carrying bags over rough terrain. They should be very economical to run as a bag of carrots is (currently) half the price of a gallon of petrol and the beasts should give a good forty years service - a whole 35 years longer than a Ford Escort!.
Colonel Fortescue Assbasket MC, a retired officer of 24th Mounted regiment, 77, who has lived in Chalford all of his life, told In Seine News;
"It could take six weeks or six months to train them but it will be well worth the £400 cost to buy the animals. We bought them from a glue factory on special offer (Buy One, Get One Free!) I shall be keeping them in a small paddock I own and I have organised a rota of trained handlers to manoeuvre them once a day."
"We are very excited to have them with us. They are lovely, gentle animals. We have entered our village in the "Britain in Bloom" competition as their waste product has already been put to good use on Miss Rose Felton's roses." he added.
The donkeys will also star in the Nativity plays every Christmas.