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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Visit to Jimmy's Farm

For those of you who haven't seen it, Jimmy's Farm was made famous as a series on the BBC. It was the story of one man's attempt to set up a farm with the rare breed Essex Pig, and has now become a tourist attraction. I was a little dubious about going as I've heard mixed reviews on the place even though I watched the series avidly, but I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, it had one magical thing that convinced me to go in the first place. It has a butterfly house .... :)

Clipper

I have to say, their butterfly house is one of the best I've been to! There were dozens flitting around the enclosure, and some amazing plants too. The ground was pretty wet and muddy underfoot, but it was worth it.
Bergamot

I'm not sure that there's enough on the farm to keep a family interested for an entire day, but it definitely took us the morning to look round it all and enjoy the butterflies. The entrance fee was less than I've paid for other attractions including a butterfly house alone.
Blue Moon Butterfly. The photo doesn't show it but those white patches with the indigo edging glow!

Blue Morpho.

But before I become completely obsessed and mislead you into thinking butterflies are the only thing there, they aren't. It's a pig farm so, yep, there are pigs! Mostly the Essex Pig which is pink with a black back and shoulders. But what about these little cuties?
Peacock.
Rhea

Sheep

There are also goats, other varieties of sheep, ferrets, rabbits, chickens, ducks, turkeys, ponies and guinea pigs. There's a good playground, a couple of ponds that are pleasant to sit by and eat your lunch although the nearby railway track makes its presence known with the odd passing train. Then there are the woodland walks.
The walks are very nicely set out, and there are areas for the kids to do den building.
There's also a shop selling mainly whole and/or organic foods including meat from the farm itself. It's a tad on the expensive side for my budget but I did treat myself to a bottle of organic lime cordial that I haven't seen to buy anywhere else in years. There are a couple of craft shops, a restaurant and an outdoor cafe. You can buy animal food from the entrance although you're warned not to feed the pony as it bites, and there are signs telling you not to feed the pigs out on the farm.
All in all it made for a pleasant morning out, and my kids enjoyed themselves. And better still, all three fell asleep in the car on the way home. :)
Monarch
Ducklings on the pond

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