A SPECIAL festive event for children with special needs and disabilities attracted more than 200 people to a Dorset farm park.

Youngsters at Farmer Palmer’s in Organford near Bere Regis got the chance to pet and feed farmyard animals, before meeting Santa in his grotto.

The event, organised by Artz+, Sportz+ and Poole Short Breaks, took place in Christmas week – and even the heavy rainfall failed to dampen spirits.

Jude Allen, cultural development officer at West Dorset District Council, one of the organisers of the day out, said: “We provide activities for children with disabilities, and this family fun day was so that invited families could have a great day out.”

Children taking part in the initiative enjoyed meeting the animals and experiencing other special attractions.

Mrs Allen said: “We had an artist come along to create a giant reindeer which proved very popular with the children.”

This papier mache sculpture will now adorn the offices of West Dorset District Council throughout January.

“We had a competition to name the reindeer and the children chose Dancer,” said Mrs Allen.

“The children really enjoyed the chance to hold the guinea pigs and feed the lambs.

“They got a lot out of the experience.”

The park’s newborn piglets were also well received.

Mrs Allen said: “This is only the second times we’ve held it at Farmer Palmer’s and we are happy with the numbers.”

Organisers say they will be looking to hold the event at the Purbeck farm park attraction next year as well.

  •  Artz+, Sportz+ and Poole Short Breaks provide workshops and activities throughout the year. For information visit dorsetforyou.com or contact Borough of Poole.