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Feather Down Farm Days (Midgham Farm)

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We are Henry and Sammy Sykes, and we live here with our son Oliver and daughter Ella, as well as our two dogs, whippet Twinkle and working cocker spaniel, Toffee.

Extra hands are always welcome on the farm. Every day - morning and evening - we need help with stable duties, and the pigs always get a good feed in the woods. Come spring time we feed our orphan lambs and the first half of May is guaranteed to be busy with the horses, as three mares are due to foal.

The copse where our tents are sited has been in the family since 1790, and many generations of Sykes have taken their teddy bears down to the wood for picnics - and you're invited to keep up the tradition. The small, pretty streams running through it are an irresistible invitation for a paddle or a leisurely game of Pooh sticks, though children should of course be accompanied at all times.

It's only ten minutes' walk down to the banks of the Hampshire Avon, where a 11 metre stretch is reserved for Feather Down Farm guests who might want to paddle or book a fishing lesson. Children's fishing nets are available to buy at the Farm Larder, whilst serious fishermen in the family are welcome to bring their own rod and tackle. Barbecues can be taken down here too, for dinners under the stars - sleeping children have been spotted being wheel-barrowed back to their tents by moonlight.

This is also the spot to set up a communal campfire, for which you can scavenge firewood. During the Second World War this wood was used for hiding tanks, and the Avon for testing their water resistance, but nowadays it's make believe games you'll be playing. Pets are welcome at Midgham Farm until 31st July, as long as they're kept under close control.

Home to the Chiddock Pony Stud Farm, we’re proud to introduce to you our miniature ponies which will delight younger guests along with our trampoline, giant rope swing, and the adventures found in our woods.

Why not meet and groom the ponies and receive a certificate at the end for all your hard work.

This year we will be bringing back our friendly alpacas and we have a bunny play area up near our shop – We have also made a giant sand-pit with a large digging area and sit- on diggers too!

This is den-building country and our son Oliver will show you the best spots – departing children often leave messages for those who add to their dens after they have gone home. The River Avon is another source of activities, from fishing and paddling to picnicking while sat at the furniture crafted by Henry from the woodland’s fallen oaks.

For those of you coming as a group we have a lovely converted barn so you can all eat together or just meet up and converse on the day’s activities or plans for tomorrow. (Hire of the barn should be booked directly with the farm.)

Our Farm Larder is another highlight, and along with wines from Berry Brothers, you’ll find ingredients for cooking all three daily meals from scratch – beef comes from the farm next door, the pork products are our own, and the rest is from our excellent local butcher. We also always endeavour to make fresh vegetables available if possible.

Dogs are only allowed at Midgham Farm until the 31st of July, not after the 1st of August.
Henry and Sammy Sykes

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