The famous Theydon Bois donkey derby is back for another outing.

On July 8 from 12.30pm to 4.30pm dozens of 10 to 15 year-olds will hop on a mini-stead and race across The Green.

This year sponsored by Estate Agent Butler & Stag, the event is again organised by the Theydon Bois Scout Group and is now in its 31st year.

The event has become synonymous with the village with more than 4,000 people previously crowding onto the green eager to bet on and watch the jockeys get their donkeys round the course without falling off.

There are seven races, with seven donkeys in each.

Neil Leahy, managing director of the estate agents, said: "The Donkey Derby highlights the true spirit of Theydon Bois and our wonderful green.

"It’s a fun event for everyone and raises much needed funds for the local Scouts and Guides groups and other village charities.

"We are delighted to be new sponsors for this their 31st year.”

As well as the races, there will be a bouncy castle, big wheel, swing boats and other rides, and games including smash the crocks, tennis serve challenge, welly wanging, and a golf putting challenge.

Chair of the Donkey Derby committee Nik O'Flynn said: "We are very excited about this year's event which is a big part of the Theydon calendar."

The event was first dreamed up for the Scouts by Peter Simmance, to raise money for a new hut. His brainwave was to reinstate the old donkey races at Birch Hall 100 years before.

Organised by Gerald Buxton, he was keen to see that the local donkeys who were used to work and give rides to the public in the forest were well treated.

He gave five shillings to the owners of every donkey that passed a veterinary inspection and brought in strict rules banning whipping and kicking.

On rare occasions the riders carried their donkeys over the finish line in their desperation to win!

Now the donkeys are all ridden by children with riding experience.

Anyone wishing to be a jockey contact Michael Simpson on 07725 042415.