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Summer holiday
activity mornings at Pierrepont Farm

We are running FREE activity mornings on three Thursdays in August:

Thursday 14th AugustWildlife safari
Animal tracks and signs, minibeasts and pond creatures.
Read a post about the safari here.

Thursday 21st AugustWoodland crafts
Make some artwork using natural objects from the woodland.

Thursday 28th AugustNight time neighbours
Empty moth and mammal traps to get a glimpse of those secretive animals we rarely see.

Each activity morning will run from 10am to 12.30pm.

Each activity morning will include the chance to see the dairy and watch our Jersey cows milking themselves!

Booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email the farm’s Education Officer, Annika Rees, at: annikar@countrysiderestorationtrust.com. Please also use this email address for any queries regarding the activity mornings.

Please note Children must be accompanied by an adult (or two, if you wish) throughout each event. Bring drinks and wellies!

If you want to bring a packed lunch and have a picnic at the farm afterwards, please do!

Pierrepont Farm is located off The Reeds Road, Frensham GU10 3BP, between the Frensham Garden Centre and the Rural Life Centre. (On the same side as, and closer to, the garden centre.)

Satnav users please note: it’s a long story but GU10 3BP is not really the farm’s postcode — but we use it because it gets you to The Reeds Road. Once you are between The Rural Life Centre and the Frensham Garden Centre, ignore/switch off the satnav and follow the signs to the farm, starting with the one below, otherwise your device will start sending you to one of the other businesses behind the garden centre.

Once you have entered the farm (ie. just after the speed hump), take the first left and park on the grass on the left of the slope in front of the large wooden building that is the dairy. If nobody is in sight, enter the dairy via the door to the left of the clock tower, take the first left and the classroom where the activities begin will be on your right.

Sign by the side of the road, marking the farm turn-off.

Look out for this sign which marks the turn-off for the farm. If you are coming from Tilford, it is on the left of the road, after the Rural Life Centre and about 100 metres before the garden centre. If you are coming from Millbridge, it’s on the right of the road, about 100 metres after the garden centre’s gates.

NB this post is “sticky” and will stay at the head of this column of blog posts until the day after the last activity morning (longer, if the webmaster forgets to take it down). Please scroll down to see later posts.

Intermediate and senior handler simultaneously

by Rod Kebble

Pierrepont Farm’s Zoë Clear has pulled off the seemingly impossible task of winning both the first place in the Intermediate Handler competition and the title of Champion Senior Handler at the UK Jersey Young Members Weekend, held at Barnowl Jerseys, Evenley in Northamptonshire on 1st-3rd August.

Usually, the Intermediate and Senior classes are mutually exclusive, as membership of either is determined by age and it is impossible to be in both at the same time.

However, the handlers who achieve first and second places in the two classes then take part in a further contest, and it is this that Zoë won, beating contestants with three or four years’ more experience.

Moreover, the animals involved are provided by the hosts of the event, so instead of competing alongside her calf Jellybean, Zoë was partnered by a heifer in calf that she had never seen before that weekend.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a photograph of Zoë at the event, so we are taking the liberty of reusing this photo of her and Jellybean at the National Dairy Show earlier this year:

Discovery Miles' Jellybean and her proud handler (and owner), Zoë Clear, winning the Maiden Heifer class at the National Dairy Show. A maiden heifer is a calf up to 15 months that is not in calf.

Discovery Miles’ Jellybean and her proud handler (and owner), Zoë Clear, winning the Maiden Heifer class at the National Dairy Show. A maiden heifer is a calf up to 15 months that is not in calf.

Young visitors get
stuck in to woodland crafts

by Rod Kebble

The second of the Pierrepont Farm free activity mornings took place on Thursday 21st August, with 19 children — plus parents and grannies — in attendance. As on the previous activity morning, the weather was kind to us.

Farmer Mike Clear shows the children a handful of the pellets fed automatically to the cows while they are in the robotic milking machines.

Farmer Mike Clear shows the children a handful of the pellets fed automatically to the cows while they are in the robotic milking machines.

The theme of this event was Woodland Crafts and the aim was to get the children to make three objects — a dragonfly, a picture made from leaves and a bug hotel — using natural objects sourced from the farm’s woodland (though the bug hotel requires a slice of a 2-litre plastic bottle and a piece of string — which we hope could not have been found in the woods — both of which were provided by Annika Rees, the farm’s education officer).

Annika provided the children with some samples of leaf artwork, such as this deer with antlers formed from small oak leaves...

Annika provided the children with some samples of leaf artwork, such as this deer…



... a cow and a flower and...

… a cow and a flower and…



... a model dragonfly made from a twig and two pairs of sycamore leaves glued facing each other.

… a model dragonfly made from a twig and two pairs of sycamore leaves.

The morning again began with a visit to the milking parlour and to the calves. Then everyone returned to the classsroom for a briefing and to be issued with a plastic box in which to collect materials, followed by a trip to the woods behind the dairy building to search for suitable twigs and leaves.

To the woods! Children and parents searching for materials among the chestnut trees behind the dairy.

To the woods! Children and parents searching for materials among the chestnut trees behind the dairy. The black and white blur in the middle of the picture is Wiz, the farm’s three-legged collie.

The group went slowly along either side of the permissive path, then out through the gate onto the farm drive and back to the classroom, where sheets of paper (some printed as templates), plastic cups of glue and sponges to apply it were laid out in readiness.

One of the children uses a sponge to apply glue to fern leaves, before sticking them in place.

One of the children uses a sponge to apply glue to fern leaves, before sticking them in place.

Completed leaf pictures were then laminated to be kept as souvenirs, though some designs were so thickly coated in leaves that they proved impossible to pass through the machine.

An owl made from moss and leaves is based on a printed template and is the work of one of the children.

This owl, based on a printed template, is the work of one of the children.

As the clock ticked round to 1230, there were once again mutterings from young mouths that surely it must be near lunchtime. Shortly after the appointed time, everyone left bearing their treasured creations and Annika was left to clear up…

The project to make a bug hotel by stuffing a slice of plastic bottle with twigs and leaves seemed to appeal more to parents...

The project to make a bug hotel seemed to appeal more to parents…



... and this mum looks satisfied with her handiwork.

… who seemed pretty satisfied with their results.

The last activity morning takes place on Thursday 28th August, when the theme will be Night Time Neighbours — attendees will see what moths and mammals have been caught in traps set the night before.

A safari in Surrey

by Rod Kebble

Around 15 children, parents and grandparents turned out for the first of this year’s summer holiday activity mornings on 14th August.

Farmer Mike Clear explained how the robotic milking machines work. Each of the two machines was occupied at the time, with a queue ensuring that if you missed something the first time, another cow would be along to demonstrate again how the machines work.

Farmer Mike Clear explaining how the robotic milking machines work. Each of the two machines was occupied at the time, with a queue ensuring that if you missed something the first time, another cow would be along to demonstrate again how the machines work.

The theme was a wildlife safari to find animal tracks, mini beasts and pond creatures. But the first animals encountered were somewhat larger, as the morning began with a visit to the milking parlour to see the cows milking themselves. This was followed by a trip to meet the newest members of the Jersey herd, still in their calf pens.

The calves are kept in individual pens for the first few weeks of their lives. This is to ensure that they receive the correct diet and also prevents them from being trampled by larger members of the herd or feeding from the wrong cow.

Two youngsters comparing notes. The calves are kept in pens for the first few weeks of their lives. This is to ensure that they receive the correct diet and also prevents them from being trampled by larger members of the herd or feeding from the wrong cow.

Then the safari guide — the farm’s education officer, Annika Rees — led the group into Tankersford Wood and gave a briefing on what to look out for, how to collect it and how to record it on the checklist that the children would be taking home.

At the start of the wildlife safari through Tankersford Wood each family was given a tray and two bug boxes, an information sheet to help identify finds and a checklist to tick off objects as they were spotted.

The start of the wildlife safari through Tankersford Wood. Each family was given a tray and two bug boxes, an information sheet to help identify finds and a checklist to tick off objects as they were spotted.

A range of insects were quickly collected, identified and released back to continue their daliy lives. Then the children collected nuts from the ground and used them to determine what creatures had eaten the contents by the pattern of marks on the shells.

Children could examine insects and other finds held temporarily in bug boxes with magnifying lids. Interesting — so long as you like creepy-crawlies...

A toddler examines a centipede held temporarily in a bug box with a magnifying lid. Interesting — so long as you like creepy-crawlies…

All the while, the children were looking out for animal tracks — which became easier when the party reached the bridle path leading to the river, as horses leave much more obvious prints than voles and mice.

Each family group was given a tray of pondlife to be identified, fresh from the pond which has been in front of the dairy for three years and was stocked entirely by Mother Nature.

A tray of pondlife to be identified, fresh from the pond which has been in front of the dairy for three years and was stocked entirely by Mother Nature. The clipboard shows the checklist for the outdoor element of the wildlife safari.

Safely returned from the banks of the River Wey, the group were issued with trays of pondlife taken from the dairy pond earlier in the morning and which contained pond snails, dragonfly nymphs and waterboatmen, among other creatures.

Back in the classroom, Annika helps visitors identify pond creatures in their trays with the help of another information sheet.

Back in the classroom, Annika helps visitors identify pond creatures with the help of another information sheet.

By then, small voices could be heard complaining of hunger and it was time to go in search of more edible finds.

There are two more activity mornings on Thursdays 21st (Woodland Crafts — making artwork from objects found in the woods) and 28th August (Night Time Neighbours — an examination of what wandered overnight into traps for moths and mammals) and the details can be found at the head of this column.

A small toad sits well-camouflaged between a pair of twigs.

Spot the toad. A sharp-eyed mum spotted him moving, otherwise he would have gone undected. Twigged it yet?



The toad from the previous picture now shown in a bug box. He, along with all the other finds, was soon released unharmed.

Toad in the bowl! This is the toad from the earlier picture. We know it is not a frog because the toad sits flatter to the ground.



The information sheets issued to the children were so informative, a horse-fly landed on one to bone-up on his neighbours.

The data sheets issued to the children were so informative, this horse-fly dropped in to bone-up on his neighbours.



Visitors were shown a badger latrine — shallow scrapes in the earth, one of which had a fresh (ie. overnight) deposit of poo. Badgers create the latrines to mark territory and to keep their setts clean.

Visitors ponder the contents of a badger latrine — shallow scrapes in the earth, one of which had a fresh (ie. overnight) deposit of poo. Badgers create the latrines to mark territory and to keep their setts clean.

New Forest Show successes

by Rod Kebble

Zoë Clear leads Pierrepont Perfecter's Money Penny around the ring at the 2014 New Forest & Hampshire show.

Zoë Clear leads Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny around the ring at the 2014 New Forest & Hampshire show (picture: Patrick Clear).

Pierrepont Farm’s visit to the New Forest & Hampshire Show at New Park, Brockenhurst, on the 29th, 30th and 31st July was well worth the trip.

In addition to doing well in the Jersey classes, Pierrepont animals also took the Supreme Champion Animal (Dairy Cattle) and Interbreed Pair titles, while Zoë Clear took the first prize in the intermediate class for young handlers of any dairy breed (excluding Holsteins, which had their own classes for young handlers).

The show season is far from over, with another win for Zoë at the Jersey UK Youth Weekend on 1st-3rd August (report to follow) and Pierrepont heading off to the Buckinghamshire Show on 28th August, the Royal Berkshire Show in September and finishing off with the All Breeds, All Britain Calf Show in October.

The farm’s full results for the New Forest & Hampshire show appear in the table below. (“Pierrepont” and “Discovery” prefixes both denote Pierrepont herds. Animals with the name prefix “Cocking” belong to Mr Harry Pink, who keeps his cows at Pierrepont Farm.)

Class Position Competitor
Supreme Champion Animal (Dairy Cattle) Supreme Champion Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Jersey Championship (2 entries) Champion Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Jersey Heifer under 15 months on day of show (2 entries) 1st Discovery Miles’ Jellybean
Jersey heifer in milk, for heifers with 1 calf (4 entries) 1st Discovery Lirsk’s Topaz
2nd Cocking Lynn’s Lady
3rd Pierrepont Bob’s Truffle
Jersey cow in milk, for cows with 2+ calves (5 entries) 1st Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
3rd Discovery Fantom’s Jenny
4th Discovery Iatola’s Hannah
5th Cocking Itaskas Fillpail 2
Jersey pairs (4 entries) 1st Discovery Iatola’s Hannah & Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
2nd Cocking Lynn’s Lady & Cocking Itaskas Fillpail 2
4th Pierrepont Bob’s Truffle & Discovery Lirsk’s Topaz
Interbreed pair (2 entries) 1st Discovery Iatola’s Hannah & Pierrepont Perfecter’s Money Penny
Any breed (excluding Holstein): intermediate young handler (3 entries) 1st Zoë Clear & Discovery Miles’ Jellybean

Like Jellybean, Discovery Fantom’s Jenny is owned by Zoë Clear.

More photos of the Show can be seen at the farm’s Facebook page: Pierrepont Farm — Pierrepont & Discovery Jerseys.

And Bertha came too

by Hayley Newton, the CRT’s fundraising manager

We had an extra special guest at the Open Day on Green Farm this year, Hurricane Bertha. She was definitely not an invited guest and certainly made her presence known!

The wet and windy start to the day meant we used a neighbour’s garage to set up our display and refreshments, instead of using the shade of the trees as planned. However, by lunchtime Bertha had moved on and it was beautiful sunshine, or so we thought…

The nicer weather brought an influx of people and in our T-shirts we all went out with Vince Lea, the CRT’s monitoring officer, and Kevin Young, a CRT volunteer at Green Farm, for a guided tour of the woodlands and an explanation of the management plan. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Bertha reappeared in the form of a thunderstorm! We all took shelter under a nearby tree, but unfortunately everyone got soaked.

Luckily the storm only lasted 10 minutes and the sun came back out, but we all decided to call it a day and head back, where Brian Lavers, another of the CRT volunteers, was waiting for us with a nice warm cup of tea and a biscuit.

We already have our fingers crossed for nicer weather for next year.