Ferne Animal Sanctuary, near Chard

This is a beautiful place, it’s a bit tricky to find through country lanes, so a sat nav would be handy.

Ferne is a charity, so every penny goes to supporting the animals that you are going to see. The entry fees are reasonable and I have also been tempted to buy the annual pass, which would make an excellent Christmas present!

A particular highlight for our kids was the area with chickens of all colours, shapes and sizes roaming free- although make sure you don’t eat your sandwiches at the bench in this area or you’ll receive lots of unwanted attention! I’d recommend the picnic benches next to the butterfly or dragonfly lakes if you would like a peaceful place to eat or they also have a café on site.

A small white pony
There are lots of friendly faces at Ferne!

Ferne is home to pigs, cows, goats, cats, ponies, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas and more. It’s large enough that you can stretch your legs, yet fine for little legs too you can cut the route short if you like, and are given a handy map and warm welcome on arrival. There is a playpark area and a new addition of a sensory garden.

I love visiting the animals with my kids as they don’t have pets. When I was growing up in South Somerset we used to go to Cricket St Thomas wildlife park, which was close to Ferne. It has sadly closed down, when we last visited ten years ago the black and white lemurs were walking over the café tables!

One thing I would love to see at Ferne would be a chance for the kids to handle the smaller animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, although they do let you know when the feeding time for the pigs is which is good fun!




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