A NEW Forest family were left speechless when a donkey gave birth on their driveway.

Martin Sampson, 41 said he was surprised when a group of donkeys turned up outside his Brockenhurst home.

"At about 10am six donkeys arrived and started sniffing around outside, I think it was to check if it was a safe place," he said.

"My five year old daughter Ellie noticed that one of them was pregnant.

"I thought it was a little strange and then they began to rub up themselves up against the fence.

"I believe they may have been marking it." He said.

The pregnant donkey known as 'Jenny' then walked up to the end of the drive and laid down by Mr Sampson's Car.

"It then began to give birth, after about half an hour out popped a hoof and then not long after the baby was born." He added.

"The foal was a girl, we have decided to call her Victoria, because we live at Victoria Cottage."

After the birth the other donkeys all began to bray really loudly for several minutes.

Mr Sampson was unsure whether this was a celebration or a warning to other animals to stay away.

The donkeys then stayed for the next two hours after the birth as Victoria slowly found her feet before the entire group left.

"It was cute watching the baby try to get up" He said.

The family gave Jenny some food before the birth to help keep her strength up, but have not fed it since.

"Ellie stayed to watch the whole of the birth.

"It was a really good nature lesson for her." Mr Sampson said.

Since the birth, Victoria and Jenny have returned to the driveway several times and both mother and baby appear to be healthy and grazing on a nearby green.

Ponies, donkeys and cattle roam freely in the New Forest and more than 6,000 are owned by New Forest commoners, who have grazing rights.

Donkeys prefer to be around trees, hedges and bushes but occasionally visit built up areas to feed.