River & Rowing Museum Welcomes Farmyard Friends For Animal Antics

River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019River & Rowing Museum Animal Antics Easter Holidays 2019

The River & Rowing Museum threw an early Easter celebration last Wednesday with their terrific Animal Antics event. Families flocked to the museum for a day packed with animal encounters and arts & crafts, with a little bit of learning thrown in for good measure.

Children made some new fluffy farmyard friends from Mill Cottage Farm as the car park was transformed into a petting area. With donkeys, ducklings, pigs, sheep, goats, and more, the young visitors could meet a menagerie of different farm animals, and were particularly enamoured by a two week old kid. Mill Cottage Farm, based in Alton, Hampshire, specialises in hands-on, educational experiences for children, and encouraged the inquisitive visitors to join the animals in their enclosures. The children gently stroked and brushed the animals, and a lucky few helped to bottle feed the young goat and sheep.

Indoors, the Thames Room was a hub of creativity as museum guests of all ages joined in with the animal arts and crafts. Tables were bursting with activities for the families to cut, colour and stick, each of them linked to the farm animals they encountered. Upstairs, the galleries hosted yet more arts & crafts, this time on an Easter theme. From paper plate pigs to wooly sheep, and seasonable woven Easter eggs, the children could make and take home an array of animal artwork for pride of place on the kitchen fridge.

In addition to the special four-legged guests, Ceri Groves from the Chiltern Chalk Streams Project was on hand to talk to visitors about water consumption. Enticing the crowds with a cardboard fish craft, she educated young people on the precious, vulnerable chalk streams in the area. “Chalk streams a really rare habitat and 85% of them are in the UK,” Ceri explained. “Eight of them are in the Chilterns, and they’re really struggling at the moment because they’ve got very low flow and low water level. Part of that is weather related, but part of it is also because we use a lot of water. We have the highest water usage in Europe in this area, and we’re taking a lot of water out of the ground and the rocks, and that water isn’t going into the rivers. I’m trying to talk to families about how they could maybe reduce the water that they use.” Inspiring her listeners to turn off taps when brushing their teeth, or keep water cold in the fridge to prevent wasting water, the Animal Antics day might well have had a positive knock-on effect on our local environment due to the knowledge gained by the next generation.

Speaking on the gloriously bright Wednesday afternoon, Helen Cook (Head of Learning for the museum) said, “We had a lovely day in the sunshine. We had the lovely people from Mill Cottage Farm experience who brought their animals to us. We’ve had donkeys and ducks and pigs and chicks, and the visitors loved being able to stroke them and feed them. Indoors we had lots of crafts – things to make and take and colour and do – all on an animal theme. There’s been lots of things for people to do and everyone seems to have had a lovely day.”  The River & Rowing Museum’s Animal Antics extravaganza was enjoyed by visitors of all ages, offering a perfect day out to kickstart the long Easter weekend.