Woodgate Valley Farm

Jude decided that he would like to visit a farm today, and as we live very near Woodgate valley, and didn’t have much time this Monday we decided we would revisit this small urban farm. Christian dropped us all off with our picnic (half consumed by this time, it must be admitted – I am definitely one of those children who would have failed the marshmallow test as a child, perhaps that’s why I’m only a teacher!) and it was another beautiful July day.

I have to admit to an unfortunate error in judgement that rather spoilt our afternoon however. We should have visited during school hours because there were a few local children who use the play area and they were, ummm, how can I say this charitably… not the most pleasant of play companions for my two. Cana was just rather bewildered as to why two  complete strangers would be shouting “you’ve got a boyfriend!” in her face repeatedly, with a few sly punches thrown in. Jude, not sure what was happening, but eager to participate in the spirit of the occasion, began shouting random things back. Had to hustle them away and had just got to the farm bit when the varmints followed us. Decided it would be a good time to go and look at the horses.

The horses were magnificent. About 8 lined up along the paddock fences. Cana was brave enough to stroke one

slightly wary

on the nose but Jude refused to go anywhere near them although he did consent to count how many legs one of them had. Not because it had an unusual number but just because he can’t count much further than four so it’s all good practise.  As a lot of them came right to the fence we could have a really close up look at their hooves and manes. I’m not particularly into animals myself but horses are easy on the eye and Cana exclaimed immediately “Oh mummy, they’re BEAUUUUTIFUL!”

After that we returned to the farm area, which used to be free but is now £1. It’s just a field that been sectioned off with a few different animals in it. Not terribly exciting and even stretching everything out you can’t really spend longer than 40 minutes in there. Well maybe the children could but I would be extremely bored. But they got to look at chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys in the poultry field. We’d gone swimming that morning so it was handy to be able to look at webbed feet and tell them that’s why they have to keep their fingers together when they’re swimming.

Then “Billy Goat Gruffs”, as Jude called them, some pot-bellied pigs and a big cow called Belle. They’ve seen all of these animals before but because the fields are small they could really examine them through the fences. The pigs grunted obligingly, the ducks dived for food and one goose got in the pool and had a wash. All fascinating if you’re only 3 or 5. The farm also has some rabbits in enclosed runs and on the way out we went past “Happy”, a very unfortunate looking pig. When Cana was a small toddler she was terrified of Happy, this time she was intrigued by his hideousness and when we got home she drew a picture of him and labelled it “Happy, ugly”.

technicoloured 'Happy'

A quick stroll through the wild flower meadow, with a brief talk about habitats, and we came back to the play area. Unpleasant children still there so we went into the visitors centre which was disappointingly not child-friendly at all. Finished the remnants of our picnic and then Cana and Jude got to play in the nice play area at last. Unfortunately there were now some more children, one of whom hit Cana and then told her if she would be his slave he wouldn’t hit her any more. She thought this was a fair deal but I had to explain quite emphatically that it was not appropriate behaviour. Then Jude got into trouble with two bigger girls. Sigh. Will definitely go in the morning next time.

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About helenshomeschool

A mummy and a teacher. Enjoying teaching my own three children. Hoping to inspire other parents to do likewise. View all posts by helenshomeschool

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