Visitors to Ferne Animal Sanctuary’s family fun day on August 5 will feel as though they’ve stepped back in time thanks to the event’s 1940s theme.

The mascot race is an annual highlight of the family fun day. Photo credit: Ferne Animal Sanctuary.

With the sanctuary celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, it is marking the occasion with the fun day, which will include a Punch and Judy puppet show, vintage vehicles, birds of prey, arena displays and a presentation on the history of Ferne Animal Sanctuary. There will also be a bouncy castle, face-painting, a miniature railway and rides. 

Event organiser Sarah Jackson said: “This year everyone at Ferne is really excited as we have more attractions than ever.”  

“There will also be family games from the era and competitions for the best dressed 1940s lady, gent, boy and girl. In addition, there will be a tug of war and, of course, our annual mascot race, which is hilarious. Among numerous stallholders, we’ll have traditional sweets and a dig for victory [plants and home produce] stall. There’ll also be traditional wood turning and wool spinning, a raffle and a tombola.

“Of course, everyone will be able to meet Ferne’s wonderful animals too and visit pets corner. There will also be a children’s story teller on-site.”

A “Dogs at war” photographic exhibition will also be on display, provided by Chard Museum and Heritage Centre.

More than £7,000 was raised in 2014 at this event and the sanctuary needs help to make this year’s family fun day the biggest and best to celebrate its special anniversary. Staff are looking for local support and volunteers for its biggest event of the year.

Donations of books, soft toys (with CE label) and raffle prizes are also needed. Items to be donated can be dropped off at the sanctuary or at one of Ferne’s charity shops in Chard, Langport or Bridport. The event is open from 11am until 4pm and priced £5 per car. A free Ferne shuttle bus service is being provided from Crowshute car park in Chard.

To volunteer, donate, or for more information, telephone 01460 65214 or visit

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