A miniature Shetland pony, two donkeys, and a band of young farmers are resting their feet after taking part in a six-mile sponsored walk around Rotherhithe and Bermondsey.
The young farmers’ club at Surrey Docks Farm runs morning and afternoon sessions every Saturday for children aged eight to thirteen to learn about working with animals and how to grow your own food.
The free club is sponsored by British Land, but funding is needed for extra activities such as ingredients for ‘bake offs’, so the children came up with the idea of a sponsored walk.
“It ended up being a six-mile walk but it went really, really well and all of the kids managed it,” said youth programmes co-ordinator Karis Hockey.
“One of the donkeys, Hermione, was a bit resistant at first but eventually she got into the pace a bit and the following day the donkeys were really chilled after their long walk.
“As part of the club, the children get involved with all aspects of the farm such as animal care, growing vegetables, cooking, mucking out, and wildlife, and really get to do things urban kids don’t normally get to do.
“A lot of the children join us at the age of eight and stay with us until they are thirteen and then become volunteers at fourteen. They absolutely love it; we get to do a lot of extra activities like going camping so it’s a great opportunity for them.”
Karis said the day was a huge success, with the club managing to raise about £350.