Rosedene nursery in Northallerton delighted children returning for the new term with a visit from Timmy the pony.
The 6-year-old black miniature horse, who normally resides at a local family farm was bathed, brushed and fed by the nursery school children while they learned about the importance of caring for animals.
Rosedene has 11 sites across Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, and regularly welcomes animals as part of its educational programme, including hatching chicks in an incubator and visits from ‘doggy director’ Brian the jack-a-poo.
Rosedene remained open throughout lockdown to care for hundreds of children of key workers, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, Rosedene ran holiday clubs through-out the summer period and welcomed back all families across 11 nurseries for the autumn term last week.
Timmy the pony will be visiting some of the other nurseries later in the term.
Alice McCullagh, director at Rosedene, said: “In TV, they say you shouldn’t work with children or animals, but at Rosedene, it’s a perfect combination!
“Interacting with animals has always been an integral part of the Rosedene experience. Our children can learn first-hand about caring for animals; how to be gentle , how to understand risk, how to feed them and how to play with them. All the children love being involved, and it is particularly beneficial for children who don’t have pets of their own.
“Rosedene is a family-run organisation, and we’ve always had animals, so it’s an absolute pleasure for us to share them with the children we care for.
“Timmy had a lovely time being pampered by the children at Northallerton and is looking forward to visiting Rosedene again soon.”