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Mum told to keep disabled daughter on reins after Adventure Farm escape

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 19, 2014

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A WINSHILL mum has been told she must tether her disabled daughter with reins when visiting a family farm, after she got out of the play area and into the cow pen.

Staff told Tanya Ward she had to restrain six-year-old Isobel and keep her in the ball pool when visiting the National Forest Adventure Farm, as she had a habit of running out into the working farm site.

The little girl was not hurt, but her mum believes it was a lucky escape, and said she thinks there ought to be better measures in place to stop children getting from the indoor play area and out into the working farm.

Mrs Ward, of Empire Road, told the Mail: “I can understand why they complained about it, but I think they should have stuff at the doors where the animal pens are to make it safer for children.

“It’s not just my child, who is disabled, I think lots of children could run out.”

Isobel suffers with a condition called deletion of chromosome seven, which affects her muscles, and she also has learning difficulties. She has the mental age of a two-year-old, her mother said.

Mrs Ward also has four other children, aged four, eight, 10 and 11.

She said: “After they told me I had to keep her on reins, I knew I couldn’t go there again. I can’t look after her and keep an eye on my other children as well.

“It’s a lot to do if I have got to keep her on reins. None of the other children have to do that and I don’t think it’s fair.”

A spokesman said the farm was ‘family-friendly and suitable for all’. The site has been accredited for disabled use.

She added: “This incident highlights the need for parental supervision on the farm. Ultimately, parents are responsible for their children’s behaviour, but the farm also has a duty of care to ensure all children are safe whilst using our facilities and equipment. So where appropriate, we will make recommendations directly to parents about safe use of the farm’s facilities.”

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