Ducklings and Swallows Year R children joined in together to visit the farm. We had a super day with brilliant sunshine helping to keep things running smoothly. We were able to spend the morning dipping with nets in the duck pond and the wonderful array of strange looking creatures that we pulled out was very rewarding. Many children became confident at recognising water boatmen, dragonfly larvae, water beetles and mayfly nymphs. Two children actually pulled out fish and these were identified as a minnow and a stickleback. The resident ducks had to put up with us taking over their pond for an hour and a half but they did sneak around our collecting trays, whenever no one was looking and eat some of our catch.
We used the upstairs of the barn to eat our packed lunches in and this old barn has been beautifully converted to make a pleasant eating space and there is even a very large old rocking horse up there that we took turns on and pretended we were going on magical journeys.
The afternoon was split into two activities; the children loved exploring the large play area with an aerial runway and great climbing equipment that had been tempting them all morning. Then the ‘close encounter’ experience in the ‘pet’s corner’ gave everyone the opportunity to touch and in the case of the goats, feed the animals. Everyone collected an egg in the hen house (called ‘Chicken Hilton’) and some children had the pleasure of getting a warm one, just laid. Our children behaved beautifully and were polite to Claire, the warden who guided us through all the activities with her 10 month old son safely strapped to her back the whole time with a cheerful grin on his face.
We were very lucky to have a great team of helpers who gave up their day to be with us and I am very grateful to all of them because without this volunteer help we would not be able to run these visits. Thank you.