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Review: Mini Meadows Farm
Naseby Road Welford, Northants, NN6 6HZ
By Tim Freed
Mini Meadows Farm is a little known treat, hiding away in the Northamptonshire countryside. WIth animals of all shapes and sizes that children can hand-feed, a play area, beach sand pit, play equipment and a picnic area, it is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours of quality family time. It would also make a great place for a mums meet-up during the day. Entry is just £3 per adult and £2 per child (under 2s are free), which is fantastically good value.
Set up 5 years ago by Ben Barraclough, father to 3 little ones, Mini Meadows Farm started out as a hen hobby. Ben had a passion for keeping chickens and he began by breeding and selling hens. These roots are very much present in the many species of hen that are on the farm - which you can feed or buy, depending on the reason for your visit. But the farm has grown into so much more than that - and is still growing.
When paying for your entry, you have the option to pay £1.50 for a bucket of feed - this is really a must to get the most out of your visit and is well worth the money for the amount of enjoyment the children get out of it. Each bucket has three cups in, with different types of feed for the different animals. A sticker on the bucket tells you which feed is for which animal. Then it’s feeding time!
We spent a good hour or so wandering around the different pens, feeding the animals. The farm isn’t huge, but that makes it perfect for families with little ones - there’s not too much walking involved! There are oodles of chickens to feed, but also turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, donkeys, a horse, goats, geese, alpacas, llamas, rheas, rabbits and guinea pigs. Most will eat from your hand, though you should only feed the rheas from the food cup. Rheas are big birds, like emus, and they are friendly - but they tuck in with a vengeance! Keep a tight hold of the food cups and supervise the very little ones around these birds. William (3) got a little nip from one and Alice (6) had her food cup knocked out of her hands!
After feeding the animals, we washed hands thoroughly and fed ourselves for a change. There is a very pleasant picnic area (and also tables indoors for the rainy days), with some modest but definitely adequate play equipment for the children to enjoy. There is also an old tractor for them to climb on which was definitely a winner! There is an indoor sand pit, which has been done up beautifully to feel like a beach and our children had lots of fun in there too.
We rounded off our visit with some cuddles with the guinea pigs and some ice creams. We spent 4 or 5 very enjoyable hours at Mini Meadows Farm and I would highly recommend it as a fun and educational family day out. And at such a reasonable price, it’s a place you can return to again and again.
You will find Mini Meadows Farm at Naseby Rd, Welford, Northamptonshire, NN6 6HZ. Adult entry is £3, children £2 each (under 2s are free). A Family Annual Pass is just £25. The farm is also available for parties and it has a large room set aside for just this purpose.
Mini Meadows Farm,
, Welford, Northants.
Tel: 07824 393517
Open every day from 10am until 5pm (including bank holidays).
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.