Get acquainted with furry friends

Marley of Mini Pony Hire.
Marley of Mini Pony Hire.

A new offering at this year’s Alnwick Food Festival will see friends of a furry and feathered nature for people to enjoy.

Kidsrome Mobile Farm will be taking up residence on Bondgate Within for the weekend, thanks to sponsor housebuilders Cussins, who are building 73 homes at Willoughby’s Bank, Alnwick, and estate agents Sanderson Young.

The farm was set up by Craig Skidmore 19 years ago. His children joined a summer play scheme at the local church and one of the activities they were involved in was based around the Bible story of animals and the ark.

Being a farmer, Craig was asked to bring some ark animals along and realising how much enjoyment children got from the event, he decided to set it up as a business. A range of domestic and farm animals will be there and are likely to include a llama, pony, donkey, sheep, rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks and a dog.

Alongside them will be Mavis, a fibreglass cow, allowing children (and adults) to have a go at milking.

Craig said: “All the animals are people-friendly so they can be stroked and aren’t going to get scared. We also put a great deal of emphasis on animal welfare.

“We are really looking forward to coming to Alnwick Food Festival. We have travelled around a lot with the farm, but have never been there before.”

A small charge will apply to see the animals up close.

And that’s not all!

Children up to the age of 14 will be able to take a pony and trap ride on Smurf and Marley, miniature ponies, who are visiting for the festival weekend, sponsored by the Hog’s Head Inn, Alnwick.

The ponies will also be located on Bondgate Within and youngsters can follow a horseshoe trail on the ground to find them. A small fee applies for rides.

There will also be facepainting and glitter tattoos, make your own pizzas at Pizzette from 11.30am to 1pm and decorate a gingerbread man from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Princesses and superheroes will be around for children to have their picture taken and on Sunday there will be fairground rides.