She used to be obsessed with ducks, but Iris recently moved her attentions onto chickens. I think this is partly to do with an episode of Twirlywoos where they collect a whole basketful of eggs. It makes Iris run wildly around the room yelling ‘cluck cluck cluck!’ I previously thought there weren’t any little farms around here where I can feed her interest, and then somebody told me about this place.
It’s in Cowbridge in the middle of nowhere, way off the beaten track and not accessible by public transport at all. This makes it an impossible place for us to visit while Trevor is working, but it’s a nice spot for a weekend family afternoon out. However it’s very near to Hendrewennol fruit farm, which is another place we love to visit. Not just for the fruit picking, but for the fantastic natural play area. Hendrewwenol is easier to find, but once you get near you start seeing ‘farm park’ signs. Mostly handmade ones with the writing made from duct tape.
You’re greeted by animals before you even get inside. There are rabbits and chickens running loose around the car park. I’m not sure it’s intentional or a good idea.
It’s very inexpensive to get in. It costs a tenner for all of us, and we usually give the kids some change to buy animal feed from the friendly guy on the gate.
I’ll be honest, the whole place looks like the old guy on the gate knocked it up from some bits of wood he’s been keeping in his shed for years in case it one day becomes useful. I’m slightly worried now that this is what Trevor has planned for all the wood he’s hoarding. I do love the way the place seems so homemade though.
Some of the animals don’t seem to even have enclosures, or anywhere in particular to live. There are several holes in the ground all around the place, and occasionally a prairie dog will pop up and wait until somebody feeds it. They’re so tame they will eat from your hands. This is the best thing ever according to Iris, who spends much of her time at home trying to force feed the cats with dog food. Actually, lots of the animals will eat from your hands. Goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Some of the loose (escaped?) animals will even chase you for it.
Once you’ve fed the smaller animals you cross a small bridge over a stream. There’s a little catering hut there. I can’t comment on it as we’ve only ever had ice lollies. They were pretty good though, and very cheap. There’s also a play area here. It’s mostly bikes and ride on toys, plus a couple of swings and a little slide. One of the kids put Iris on a swing last time we were there, and she fell off landing in a huge puddle of mud. She spent the rest of the visit running around in her nappy. Thankfully it was a warm day.
Up behind the play area are the bigger animals. There are ponies, more goats, some sheep, alpaca (or llamas, I never know the difference) and a really big mean looking ram. There were tiny little pony foals there recently. So sweet!
Despite being basic and frankly a bit strange in places, I highly recommend the place. We’ve had two fantastic visits and the kids have had the best time. It’s one of those places I think we’ll find ourselves visiting often, especially if Iris’s interest in animals continues.