What a gorgeous day! And we really made the most of it, by heading up to Streamvale Open Farm this morning. Despite the sign which said it opened at 2pm (which is true for weekdays, but not weekends and Bank Holidays) things were really getting started at around 10.30 when we arrived. The regular animals were doing their thing. The cows were mooing like a philharmonic choir at the heifers who'd been popped into the next field. The poultry were cockadoodledooing with delight at the sunshine (or so I told myself), and happily swarmed round our feet to collect the grain Littlun dropped for them. It has to be said, for some of the toddlers, chickens and cockerels are just a bit too big - and those beaks a bit too pointy-looking - for comfort. The piglets have grown, but they are still tiny in comparison to their mum. Littlun LOVED holding the bottle to feed the wee black-faced lamb. And its wriggly waggly tail was a spectacle in itself. I still love the kids - but think it's a shame they have to grow up into goats!
Pony rides, tractor rides to feed the deer, and the new barrel-ride train-thingy all look fun... though ours is disappointingly unimpressed by such things just yet. Patience, patience.
Rabbits to feed with carrots, and baby rabbits to hold in baskets (Better-Half has some cute photos...) pander to the adults' maternal instincts, if not to my daughter's! She preferred the straw-bales and toy tractors... and not a pink one in sight. Hurray!
The climax is a simple lunch, a really good cuppa, and Streamvale's delicious homemade icecream. The chocolate-covered brownie served with ice-cream is a luxury only fully enjoyed if you know you're sharing it, and the calories. Really too good altogether!
Verdict: A really good day out. If you had been staying away because of recent media hype and paranoia, stay away no more!
[The place was only closed for two days, as a precautionary measure, and given the all-clear. If you're cautious, bring wipes and use the hand-washing and alcohol-dispensing facilities on site.]