Measured out a Viking longship using sticks with a lovely Home Ed group. We were surprised how small the longship  (17m long, 2.5 m wide) was for forty Vikings and that it was only 50cm deep with a 12m x 12m woolcloth sail (16m mast). The longships had symmetrical ends so that they didn’t need to turn in a narrow river or when they needed a quick get away. The ends often had a dragon or snake head.

We then made our own ships for some rubber ducks and went ‘Viking fishing’ in the pond. Glorious sunshine for woodland play after lunch. 

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome back the year 4 and 5 children from Cropthorne with Charlton C E First School. The weather was once again…..wet!

As the children arrived the rain was pouring down. I told the children all about the life cycle of a dragon fly. We played a similar game to beetle drive but instead of beetle body parts, the children had to roll the dice for each stage of the dragon fly life cycle. I was able to show them some real skins of emerged dragon flies. 


As the sun came out we decided to go on a farm walk which was a little longer than planned, but the children didn’t mind at all. We climbed to the top of the small hill on the farm and stood in a circle. I asked everyone to look out of the circle and think of one word to explain something they could see which they had to tell the rest of the class. Then in groups we used some landscape discussion cards. The children were really engaged in this activity. 

We then headed down to the pond to see if we could find any dragon fly nymphs. One boy dipped and pulled out a clear egg with a tiny newt in it. I was very excited as I had never seen anything quite like it.

Then the rain came down in huge drops, I was the only one who was worried as I had foolishly decided not to wear a coat! 

After lunch the children borrowed dry coats and had a great time in the play wood. 

The wonderful Year 4 and 5 children from Cropthorne with Charlton school made their second visit to the farm this school year. It was lovely to see how excited they were about being back on the farm. 

We didn’t have a specific topic to cover and so it was decided that a team activity would be a fun way to spend the morning. In groups of three, the children were asked to build a raft for a rubber duck and include a rope to pull the raft through the water. The children did a really good job using natural materials in the wood and didn’t seem to notice the rain pouring down. We walked to the pond to launch the rafts. The pond is very full and lapping at the bottom of the island bridge.

After a run through two fields we went to see the calves which looked very cute sleeping in the straw. The one year old calves were very happy to be fed some silage. 

After lunch the children had a great time in the play wood. 

It was really lovely to see Year 4 children from Sedgeberrow C of E First School. The topic of the day was Super Heroes, which isn’t perhaps the most obvious for a farm trip. We started the day discussing milk processing and how Louis Pasteur invented Pasteurization which prolongs the life span of milk. 

We then moved onto the book ‘Super-Worm’ which then lead on to me explaining how farmers love worms and the role worms have to play in nutrient release and providing air and water channels. I measured out a cubic metre and asked the children to guess how many worms live in a healthy soil of that size. Answer 740. 

We then went outside and looked at the pile of farmyard manure which the worms will be breaking down later in the Spring. Then we went to see the calves and the source of the farmyard manure. 

The children were keen to see the pond and how deep it is after the very wet winter. Although we looked hard we could see very little life in the pond. I think the water is still cold and much of the pond life is living deep in the mud.  

Our walk took us to the western side of the farm. I gave the children trowels to dig up the soil. They found plenty of worms


and decided to make the sticky soil into clay balls and pots. On our way back for lunch we stopped under the pylon to discuss sound and electricity. 

As ever the children loved the wood.