THE autumn harvest was celebrated in the New Forest with children from some nine local schools.

Two hundred and seventy children and their parents from schools in Southampton and the New Forest descended on Sandy Balls Holiday Park in Fordingbridge for the event which highlighted the harvest in the area and the local food available.

Children got the chance to see farm animals up close, including a cow and calf and pig and piglets, take part in a bug hunt, try their hand at milking and learn about food harvested in the area.

They were also treated to a lunch made of local produce. The event was organised by New Forest Marque, Hampshire Country Learning and Sandy Balls New Forest Trust also helped to fund the event As the children spent time with the different local producers they were given points for such things as the questions they asked and their behaviour.

The winner of each activity, as well as a painting competition which was judged by Sally Churchward of the Daily Echo and Rod Bailey, area manager for Fullers Inns, won a wormery.

The overall winners were Hythe School who won a day out for their whole class at Paultons Park.