Appeal to unlock pony gate

Donny the donkey and Spirit his companion pony

The mystery as to why the double gates off the B2089 Udimore Road were triple locked, preventing vehicle access to the ponies and donkeys at Undercliff Pony Rescue, as reported has been solved, but unfortunately not happily.

Following protracted investigation and discussion, Undercliff Pony Rescue owner Sharon Baker has had it confirmed that Southern Water added the additional lock, but will not grant access for her to drive her vehicle to the paddock with food and water for the animals.  This is because Sharon is not a domestic resident and does not pay a charge.

Only residents of Udimore Hill properties are granted an access and for which they pay an annual charge. Southern Water’s technical department are unwilling to negotiate any arrangement with Sharon.

The alternative grass track access, adjacent to the Southern Water access road, is still under investigation by Rother District Council, who have promised to confirm access rights but so far ownership and access rights remains unclear and Sharon is advised against its use.

Locked gates at West Undercliff

Its seems to be a sad state of affairs at present, that two ponies and a donkey are living in a locked paddock, with no vehicular access to them for their daily needs of food and water or the farrier and vet. Her horsebox is also locked in the paddock.

Sharon says she cannot move the two ponies to an alternative paddock and Donny the donkey would not survive another move.  He is 28 years old and becoming frail.  The anxiety of another move would be cruel and possibly fatal and his outlook would be bleak.

Sharon needs legal representation to negotiate with Southern Water in an attempt to overcome the problem of keeping the animals on locked land.  She has exhausted her own resources.

Sharon is a retired nurse, supporting eight rescued ponies and Donny the donkey on her pension income.  If any readers can suggest a suitable solicitor, please do contact her via the website below.

Meanwhile please help support the increased costs of legal representation to ensure the safety of the ponies and Donny at

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .


  1. Thank you Jayne. We’ve no idea how much the annual charge to Udimore Road residents actually is. Sharon has told us she has offered to pay Southern Water for a key to the gate but they will not negotiate with her. This is why she needs legal representation.


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