Farming Experience Somerset

Farming Experience Somerset

Book a farming experience in Somerset and meet all the super cute animals! This family-run smallholding in Misterton is in the heart of the Somerset countryside. It’s a pretty idyllic spot and you’re invited to join in and help out for a few hours.

There’s always something going on at the farm. Rosie and sister Vera the Shetland Sheep love meeting humans especially if there’s a chance they might wangle a Rich Tea biccie out of you. Lotto and Orca the miniature Shetland Ponies look like butter wouldn’t melt but they can be a mischievous pair.

Then there’s Betty and Wilbur the Kune Kune pigs. Native to New Zealand these little domestic piggies are proper hairy. They’re like no other pig you’ll have ever seen. These two love nothing better than to be out in the paddock eating dock leaves and nettles – they’re great gardeners.

You’ll most likely be followed around for the most part of your farming experience by the Pygmy Goats. Gruff is the cheekiest of the lot and is so curious he wants to know what’s going on all the time so don’t be surprised if you sit down and he appears and jumps up on your lap!

Running a menagerie of petting farm animals can be quite a handful as you’ll find out. There are lots of daily tasks and you’ll be able to join in with them. From putting new bedding down for Beryl Baby and Belle the Guinea Pigs and collecting eggs from Sugar Salt and Pepper the laying chickens to grooming Lotto’s luscious mane and feeding those cheeky goats.

All that running around (sometimes literally after the chickens!) is thirsty work so your farming experience includes a light lunch or a cream tea. As well as learning how to look after the farm animals there’s also plenty of quality time for a cuddle and a stroke.

Kids and adults alike love these farming experiences in Somerset. You’ll feel like part of the family and you’ll get to meet (and probably fall in love with) all the residents of the farm. A great gift for grown ups to enjoy with little ones as young as 8 years old.

Find out more and book your place today!

Chicken Keeping Experience

Chicken Keeping Experience

Chicken keeping courses – where you find out which came first the chicken or the egg! Joking aside there’s more to keeping chickens than lifting the lid on the nest box and collecting the freshly laid eggs (although that is by far the biggest benefit!) and these courses will teach you all about how to keep chickens.

Not so many years ago the big supermarkets had everything covered. Prices were low and it was all super convenient for us as shoppers. Not so much fun if you were a battery hen. Fast forward to now and more and more of us are wanting to keep a couple of chickens in the garden to provide the freshest tastiest eggs that are of course totally free-range. And that’s where these courses come in.

We are offering half and full-day chicken keeping courses at a farm in East Sussex. The sessions are led by Jason who is an expert in ‘home farming’. As well as looking after chickens rearing them and teaching courses about them he’s also rather adept at building bespoke chicken runs and enclosures as you’ll find out

During your time at the farm you’ll hear all about how you get started in keeping chickens as pets/layers. The ‘Beginning Your Chicken Keeping’ half-day course gives you all the basic info you need from which breed to choose where you keep your chickens and feeding tips too.

Those on the full-day course attend the ‘Beginning’ session in the morning and then stay on in the afternoon (after a tasty lunch on the farm) to go more in-depth about caring for chickens. You’ll also learn chicky facts like why chickens are territorial foragers and that each hen very much has their own character. There’s always one wanting a stroke another who eats all the titbit treats and a cheeky one trying to escape!

By the end of these chicken keeping courses you’ll be well-informed on keeping chickens and quite possibly feeling ready to invite a couple of hens to live in your garden. If you didn’t know your Millefleur from your Lavender Pekin Bantams you certainly will do after attending one of these great courses that are fun informative and useful!

Find out more and book your place today!

Pig Keeping Course

Pig Keeping Course

Get piggy with it on a pig keeping course in East Sussex! Whether you’re thinking about keeping pigs or you just love pigs these one-day courses on a working farm between Battle and Bexhill are totally for you.

These pig-tastic experiences are hosted by farmer Ben de Havilland. He rears rare-breed pigs to supply his street food business as well as local restaurants and individual customers too. Anyone who has eaten his pork products knows that his meat is of the highest quality and the reason is simple: happy pigs!

The first question you’ll probably have about keeping pigs in your garden or smallholding is ‘how much space do I need?’. This will be covered by Ben along with legal and health side of things so you know where you stand if you fancy having pigs as pets or for their meat.

There’ll also be plenty of time spent with the pigs in their pen. You’ll find out how your organic waste will be a feast for your pigs and what else they need for a balanced diet. You’ll chat about which breeds are best for which purpose. Where they live will also be covered from what you need to do about fencing to providing shelter for your pigs. And then there’s question of what happens next…

Yep Percy the Pig may very well end up as sausages. Ben will give you lots of advice on preparing your pig for the abattoir. The thing to remember here is that your pig was as happy as a pig in the proverbial and the meat is sustainable and without doubt tastier than anything you could buy in a supermarket with the advantage that you know exactly where it came from.

These pig keeping courses in East Sussex are all about rearing your own pigs in a wholesome sustainable way. It could be part of your plan to be more self-sufficient or simply that you’ve always wanted to keep a pig as a pet. Ben will talk you through the trials and tribulations of keeping pigs in a fun and informative way. Just remember to bring your wellies you’re going into the pigsty!

Find out more and book your place today!

Red Panda Encounter for Four

Red Panda Encounter for Four

Meet Tika and Pema on a Red Panda experience at Drayton Manor! These exclusive packages are for four people to go on a family-friendly Red Panda encounter together hosted by a professional animal keeper who looks after these gorgeous Red Pandas.

Red Pandas don’t really do that much apart from eating and sleeping but these adorable little mammals are fascinating creatures to watch. They are adept at climbing and love nothing more than a little ascent to get to a tasty meal of delicious bamboo. They’re also partial to things like eggs insects and even the odd fish. See there’s so much to learn about Red Pandas!

Sadly there are fewer than 10 000 Red Pandas left in the world which is why the work of places like Drayton Manor in helping to preserve this endangered species is so important. You’ll hear all about why Red Pandas are getting increasingly rare who their predators are in the wild and what can be done to help the Red Panda population during your experience.

You’ll also get a real insight into their personalities as well. Red Pandas can be quite characterful so even if your encounter is meant to be around a training session these adorable ‘red bear cats’ (as they are also known) may not want to play ball and might prefer doing their own thing!

As is the policy with many of the species residing at Drayton Manor’s zoo you won’t be able to actually touch or pet the Red Pandas when you meet them but you will be heading right inside their enclosure which is not accessible to the public. A trained keeper will be with you at all times and will explain what will happen. The trainers will also be happy to answer any questions you might have about the species.

These Red Panda experiences take place at 4pm which is during normal park opening hours. You will need to have general entry tickets to get you into Drayton Manor but it does mean you have most of the day to enjoy all the facilities and attractions this popular Staffordshire park offers. You can save on entry tickets by buying discounted Drayton Manor tickets in advance from us here at Into The Blue.

Find out more and book your place today!

Urban Beekeeping & Craft Beer Tasting

Urban Beekeeping & Craft Beer Tasting

Get a buzz out of urban beekeeping in London! With an admiration for those busy honey bees and a love of craft beer you’ll be in heaven on this hands-on experience in London that combines urban beekeeping skills with honey beer.

But what is honey beer? Well brewers usually add sugar to the fermentable mix to increase the alcohol content and give the beer body. Honey brewers replace that sugar with honey. If you think that adding honey to beer would make it overly sweet like mead think again. The artisan blonde lager and the brown ale are both very balanced and have a lovely flavour as you’ll find out on this fascinating workshop.

This bee and beer eperience is based within walking distance of Oval tube in Zone 2 on the London Underground Northern Line. You’ll get kitted out in full beekeeper garb ready for a hive inspection. See the ladies at work peer at those honeycomb patterns being created in front of your eyes and learn all about beekeeping in the city.

‘You reap what you sow’ as the saying goes so once you’ve seen how the honey’s made by those London-dwelling bees it’s time to find out what can be done with the delicious nectar. The honey brew team will tell you all about the process of taking what the bees produce and turning it into tasty beer. For example the Hiver Beer Brown Ale uses raw blossom and heather honey along with darker roasted malts for a flavoursome and rich unpasteurised brown ale.

Once you’ve met the bees and brewed the beer there’s only one thing left to do. Sample it! You’ll take part in a tutored beer tasting featuring honey beers from the range produced by this Kennington brewer. There’ll even be nibbles and snacks provided too for a very well-rounded food and drink experience.

So if you want to lift the lid on honey bees and hives in the big city sign up for this interactive urban beekeeping workshop in London with the added bonus of learning all about honey beer brewing too.

Find out more and book your place today!