THEY say life begins at 40 and that may well be the case for Gussy the Donkey who is not so much long in the tooth but long in the hoof.

The much-loved jenny has lived at Nailsworth Donkey Sanctuary for the past two years under the careful watch of Tim Powell and Dawn Cockell.

However, Tim rescued Gussy more than 35 years ago when she was left for dead in a South Wales field.

When Gussy needed a companion they found and took in various other donkeys including April, Rolo, Pedro, Mags and Millie, thus starting the sanctuary.

Now Gussy will celebrate her 40th birthday on Sunday, with a party open to the public.

The event will be held in the field next to the sanctuary and will have a bouncy castle and ice cream stall and a toy raffle.

“This will be a great opportunity for children and families to come down and meet some of the donkeys,” said Dawn who works full-time as a cleaner.

“We have been here for a few years now but not many people know we are here.

“Because we work full-time the sanctuary isn’t always open to the public but we do get children in to meet the donkeys sometimes.”

Gussy’s party will begin at 12 noon and finish at 4pm depending on the weather.

The sanctuary is located on Newmarket Road, Nailsworth, GL6 0DQ.

For more information ring Dawn and Tim on 07756 465 908.