How to keep you safe and help things to run smoothly.
At Ottery Secret Garden we organize activities to help you get to know and understand the great outdoors. We want you to be able to experiment, experience and excel in your own way, at all sort of outdoorsy, home cooking and nature based activities. It only works if you all participate in these activities. We can't offer alternatives or supervise you in another area of the garden because we need to stay with your group and have a responsibility to keep you all safe. It's for your safety that we always supervise you.
This is just a massive garden. Just like any garden that has had people living, working and playing in it for many years, it could have some things hidden in the undergrowth that might present some kind of danger. We keep finding bits of broken crockery. We always try to remove such items, but if you see anything that could be dangerous, please don't touch it - let us know. Shiny might mean sharp! And never dig in the soil or in the stream with your bare hands.
Some things people might be playing with are borrowed from our home. Lanterns, cups, blankets and many other things. We like you to have what you need to make your activity as brilliant as possible. If you see someone breaking things, leaving them out in the rain or not looking after things, please don't do the same. Just tell an adult and we will have a little word and get things back to how they should be. We are a team. That means all of us helping to keep things running smoothly.
We can't allow ball games in the house, with the exception of supervised games of skittles and marbles along the hall. Special things or little people could get hit with an over excited ball!! Although we have many organized activities throughout the day, there will be 'downtime' when you are able to chill. Please listen to the adult supervising your downtime - they'll tell you where it's best to be.
Upstairs is the bit of our home we don't want to share with you (you don't want to accidentally see our dirty socks) ;)
There are currently two tyre swings, two hammocks and 3 'Tree pods'. Please share and don't push too high (don't push people in hammocks/tree pods at all) - this could hurt the person on the swing or people on the ground.
Stay with your group if asked to. We put you in groups to keep you safe and to ensure you have the most fun possible! Some activities rely on teamwork. Please try to feel proud of your team and help them to achieve great things. But don't worry if you don't win. Participating is what matters.
We like you to be accompanied when you visit Ruby. She'd never mean to hurt you. But we don't want her thinking your little fingers are a yummy bun and accidentally nibbling them!!
Petting and stroking the animals is not allowed I'm afraid. They would get really fed up if they got petted all the time every day! They are very small, and have feelings too . I'm sure they love watching you play though.
Please be considerate of the fact that this is our home. Try not to walk mud in, and treat the piano and our furniture with kindness. Our special things are all around you. Help us to keep them safe.
Never be afraid to talk to us if anything is bothering you. We can sort anything. And remember - Kind words make most things right :)
Take a good look at the menu before you come. That way you will know what to expect - and will be sure it's something you like.
Camp Fire Rules: The camp fire is a very dangerous place. It is also a very lovely, exciting and fun place. We need to always remain calm when next to the fire. Always be aware of where it is, where you are and where other people are. Never push or try to race someone for a seat. We'll always make sure you have somewhere great to sit. Hot marshmallows stick - not just to sticks, but to people. That's why we mustn't wave our sticks around with a hot marshmallow on the end! If there is no adult there, you shouldn't be there! We never let children in the camp area without an adult.
We love hearing you say kind things to other children. It brightens our day and I'm sure it does the same to the other child. Feel free to make new friends whether for just one day or for a lifetime. Friendship costs nothing but has a value you can't put a price on.
If you can go home happy, after having done things the Ottery Secret Garden way, then we hope to be able to welcome you back for a long, long time. If you can't agree with these rules, I think we're not for you - which is fine too, but just means we're not compatible and, for the sake of your safety, we will have to go our separate ways!!