Nethercott Farm 2019
Wednesday 27th March 2019
Only two more sleeps to go before we leave for Nethercott! The children eagerly brought in their wellington boots this morning all labelled up and ready to go.
Friday 29th March 2019
We've arrived! We had a fantastic journey down: no traffic, super behaviour and a lovely picnic for lunch.
Since stepping off the coach, we've been very busy meeting the staff, orientating ourselves around the main house and courtyard area, unpacking, learning routines for the boot room and welly wash, making our beds and generally settling in. We're very tired after a long day, but excited for what tomorrow brings!
Saturday 30th March 2019
Today was an exciting day as we started our farm jobs for real! We've been feeding the chickens, grooming the horses and donkeys and enjoying a tractor trailer ride over to David's farm. We helped him to herd some new mum cows and their calves from a paddock area to a new field, allowing the paddock to be used by two ten hour old calves and their mums. The most exciting news: whilst we were hard at work, Michael Morpurgo popped over to chat to us! We know he is a busy man and so this was a huge privilege.
We've had SO much food and it's been delicious and plentiful! Amelia said earlier with the most enormous smile on her face: 'I just feel so happy here'.
Written by Jasmine Tomkins
Sunday 31st March 2019 - Mother's Day! (And we lost an hour because the clocks went forwards too!)
This morning, we got up early (effectively at 5.30am!), got 'suited and booted' and went out for our morning task. Group One went off to the milking parlour, Group Two checked for eggs and Group Three visited David's farm to feed the cows and sheep. We had a super breakfast of eggy bread and beans (as well as porridge, cereals, orange pieces, tea and toast!), and then set out for another task.
In the afternoon, we had a lovely bimble across the lush green fields before heading back to ensure our Mums know that we love them very much and wish them a Happy Mothering Sunday! (Check out our pictures below!)
Written by Oscar Witham, Seb Coleman-Smith, Amelia 'Beamer' Ide and Matilda Motley.
Monday 1st April 2019
What an amazing start to the day for Group One! On their way to David's farm, Michael Morpurgo gave them a wave as he was in his garden... in his PJs! They then stopped a little further on to check on the expectant ewes in one of David's fields when he noticed one of them struggling to give birth, so he went into action... and he needed Group One's help! They had to work together to corner it so that David could help the lamb to be born. It was quite tricky, but they got there in the end. They watched in awe as a new life began. Everything went well and David was confident that there was another one on the way, but that the ewe should be ok to birth it without any more help. They left mum and baby to bond and got on with other tasks.
The other groups have also been busy, with Group Two spending a lovely afternoon in the sunshine at Forest School. They came back with charcoal-painted faces, big grins... and the smell of smoke. Group Three had to use their muscles today as they helped David to pull down a tree!
Everyone had a wonderful time playing out on the front lawn and we took some group pictures, before heading inside for a wonderful lunch... with an amazing dessert of lemon cheesecake.
Whilst discussing favourite jobs on the farm, Oscar stated that working with the chickens is 'like doing a big Easter egg hunt everyday!'
Written by Riley Pledger, Phoebe Houldcroft and Ryan Gilbert.
Tuesday 2nd April 2019
After a great night's sleep, we woke up to rain and were a little hesitant about heading outside. However, once we got up and going, the weather improved and we realised it is definitely 'April Showers' month! We have had sunshine and showers all day but that hasn't stopped us from heading over to David's farm on the tractor, moving manure into the new greenhouse, checking on the chickens, grooming the donkeys and ponies and helping to mend a broken fence across a river.
The food continues to be lovely! This evening, we had vegetable soup and home-made bread made by Group Two, with butter made by Group One and cheese made by Group Three! A real team effort to feed all 40 of us!
'Being with all the animals is amazing!' Reah Preston
Written by Monty Maclaren and Violet Cork
Wednesday 3rd April 2019 - Alex's Birthday
Today began for Alex with a lovely sing-song by the adults of Happy Birthday to wake him up! He had a fantastic breakfast of pancakes - well, we all did! - and a scrumptious birthday cake for tea!
Group Two had the wonderful experience of witnessing a lamb being born and had a lovely time holding the chickens. Group One worked with Stuart to move two sows who are due to give birth within the next week, doing so VERY efficiently and earning everyone a dorm point! Group Three helped to make a road with gravel, as well as worked in the garden to gather food for the evening meal.
Thursday 4th April 2019
And so we arrive at our last day! We completed our last tasks out on the farm this morning, before heading out for a lovely afternoon walk to Iddesleigh to visit the village hall and find out more about the inspiration for Michael Morpurgo's book, War Horse, as well as what life would have been like if the children had been evacuated to the country during the war. We then topped the evening off with a fantastic disco and late night to bed! We're up early tomorrow to begin the journey back and, whilst we are very sad to leave Nethercott, we're very much looking forward to seeing our families and sharing our stories.
The children have been fantastic throughout and have received some wonderful comments from the Nethercott staff. 'I'm incredibly proud of them all. We've had some magical moments that will stay with these children throughout their lives and I feel privileged to have been part of it.' Visit Lead, Miss Baldwin.