Children from two Dorset schools enjoyed visits to Longdown Farm at Ashurst in the New Forest this week, all thanks to Variety The Children’s Charity. Pupils from Beaucroft Foundation School at Colehill, Wimborne, and young carers from Bethany School, Boscombe, were able to bottle-feed calves, collect hens eggs, go on a tractor and trailer ride and more.

The two groups were escorted round the farm by Farmer Bob Horton and Farmer Brian Pass, who explained the role of each animal at the farm, and gave the youngsters an insight into how to feed and look after them. It was lots of fun and there were squeals of delight as the children carefully carried the eggs they had collected to place safely in waiting egg boxes.

Both days were a huge success and gave the youngsters opportunity to experience farm life and interact with large and small animals. Stroking fluffy chicks and cuddly guinea pigs, holding and bottle-feeding kid goats and seeing tiny piglets made these days very special indeed.

Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex, said: “These fabulous days out could not happen without the help of many people. I would like to thank 4COM, Shan and BC Club, Ian Woolley and Quiz Britain and the Foresters for their ongoing support of all these precious children, Judy Hiscoke, Avril Owton and Jenny Davies from the Variety Wessex committee for accompanying the groups, and a special thank you to the weather for being dry and warm for these two outdoor activity days that were a joy for all the children”.