YOUNGSTERS from Puddletown First School got out into the great outdoors as they raised money for Children in Need.

Inspired by the BBC programme Countryfile, the children took on a sponsored ramble.

The school council, made up of two elected children from each year, invited all 150 pupils as well as 20 staff and family members to take part in the two kilometre ramble through Thorncombe Woods by Hardy’s Cottage.

In the days leading up to the event, all the children at the school had made Pudsey Bear ears, which they wore to the woods.

Each child also had a stick to carry, tied with wool, to collect objects such as chestnut shells, other sticks and leaves they found of interest to tie to their sticks.

The children had the opportunity to talk about what they had collected and why they found the objects they had found of interest.

In the morning children gave cash donations to Children in Need to wear non uniform before heading off to Thorncombe Woods.

Dorset County Council very kindly provided coaches free of charge to transport the children to and from Thorncombe Woods, recognising it was a charity event.

The youngsters met up with family and friends, then walked through the woods, past the well preserved Roman road and Thomas Hardy’s cottage and were on the look out for the woodland’s very own herd of Dartmoor ponies.

The walk started at 10am and the pupils returned to school in Puddletown in time for lunch.

Teaching assistant and school council lead Joanna Stoker said: “The walk was a great success. The children enjoyed kicking the leaves, looking at the reflections of the trees in Bushy Pond, and appreciated the beautiful colours of autumn in the woodland.

“They had collected lots of autumnal nature on their sticks to talk about with their peers and families.

“It was special to involve the children’s families and our community in this outdoor fundraising event.”