This week Essex’s original farm park celebrates 35 years in business sharing the food and farming story.

Pupils from Alleyn Court celebrated the park's birthday by making birthday cake for the animals from banana, oats and leafy greens - with a carrot for a candle.

Essex’s original farm park is still owned by the Philpot family, who continue to farm in the area. Founder Peter Philpot joined in the fun to cut the Barleylands ribbon while the school children asked more about how Barleylands began, farming and growing food.

One of the sons in the family, Chris Philpot, said: “We are so proud to have been sharing the story of agriculture and food production with school children and families for so many years.

"With urbanisation and the rise of the supermarkets, children are increasingly removed from farming and where their food comes from. At Barleylands we can give them an interactive connection with this through the farm animals, cooking and the history of farming through the ages.

"The farm park started when I was the same age as many of our visitors. My father opened to the public with a few pieces of vintage machinery from the farm and I have seen how it has developed and thrived. None of it would have been possible without the loyal staff who have dedicated themselves to delivering a great experience to those who visit us.”