The start of the summer holidays brought the usual summer rain but it didn’t stop us packing our wellies for a week of fun down at Little Comfort Farm.
In the space of a week, and under the expert guidance of her Auntie Jodie and Uncle Jeremy, my increasingly adventurous two-year-old came face to face with a swallow chick who was having trouble staying airborne, fed chickens and collected their eggs, patted lambs, spotted several fish cruising around the lake and learned to differentiate a blue tit from a woodpecker. Not to mention getting deliriously happy and mucky splashing in puddles and building castles in the sandpit by the river.
Given the time of sunset at this time of year, sadly she wasn’t able to stay awake for Jeremy’s bat walk but the other lucky children staying at Little Comfort that week were treated to sightings of the farm’s nocturnal residents and a cup of hot cocoa round the campfire. The calls of the owls and night jar didn’t wake her either so we all slept very soundly with the trickle of the River Caen in the background.
Instead, she saved her energy for a bracing walk along the glorious beach at Saunton Sands, where she collected an impressive selection of rock pool and shoreline treasures. On and off came the rain coat but we were noticeably over dressed compared to the classes of older children learning to surf that day.
As we drove down to visit Jodie and Jeremy this time, the media reported on the latest study to conclude that the public are losing touch with nature and the countryside. A shockingly high percentage of those questioned were apparently unable to identify an oak tree or a barn owl and a third said that they did not know enough about nature to teach their children.
We are so lucky that our daughter will have the opportunity to experience so many wonderful adventures in nature at Little Comfort Farm. Jodie and Jeremy have an infectious enthusiasm for wildlife and numerous ideas about how to further improve the natural habitat of their little slice of the countryside. It’s a work in progress but with so much to offer already, I for one can’t wait for our next visit.