IF YOU like the idea of supporting a charity by having fun, the Aldingbourne Country Centre, off the A27, near Fontwell, is well worth a visit.
Close to the South Downs in acres of countryside, there are tranquil woodland walkways, the chance for wildlife-spotting and a natural playground.
In an ideal outdoor setting for children, other attractions include an open farm, ride-on tractors and a castle playground.
Goats, a Shetland pony, guinea pigs, donkeys, chickens, pigs, alpacas and ducks are among the animals waiting to greet young visitors to the open farm. For a small charge, they can be fed and greeted face to face.
Guinea pigs can be held and stroked – they are all very friendly There are sanitising hand washing facilities on site and visitors can spend as long as they want to enjoy the farm and chat to its experts.
For anyone who wants to get even closer to nature, the centre offers a pig mud bath experience as an unusual gift, which is educational and fun for individuals or in pairs and must be booked in advance at £30 for a 30-minute session. A certificate, photo card and badge are offered after the piggy fun for which height restrictions apply.
To make a visit to Aldingbourne complete, visitors can enjoy home-cooked food and drinks in the on-site cafe while the shop has many unusual and attractive craft and gift items for sale.
The country centre is part of the Aldingbourne Trust, a charity which supports, educates and provides opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. All proceeds from the centre’s activities are transferred to the trust for its objectives.
Aldingbourne Country Centre is open every day from 10am – 4pm, although the farm opens at 11am on Wednesdays.
For information, visit the website at: www.aldingbournetrust.org e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01243 546033.