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Kate mucks in with local children on farm day out

The Duchess of Cambridge helped feed a lamb and had a go at pig-weighing

by Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duchess of Cambridge donned her trusty boots as she spent the afternoon mucking in on a farm in Arlingham, Gloucestershire. The royal, who left her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte at home, joined a group of schoolchildren and teachers from Vauxhall, London as they learnt firsthand about the day-to-day running of a farm. Kate, 35, was more than happy to get stuck in, completing work around the farm yard with the children. She made her way from allotment to allotment, tending to the pigs, sheep and chickens. She also helped plant onions in the vegetable patch and asked the children if they liked onions. When one child said they made their eyes water, Kate replied: "They make things nice and tasty. You can put onions in curries."

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Kate helped feed a six-week-old lamb named Stinky

The royal also bottle-fed a six-week-old lamb called Stinky. The lamb, a Lleyn breed of sheep who was born on the farm, earned his name from birth when he had a stomach infection and diarrhoea. "The children said he was stinky and the name stuck," explained farm manager John Goodman. "We had to take him away from his mother and siblings and bottle-feed him and the children were not allowed to touch him. It's too late to return him to his mother so he will be bottle-fed. He has got back to full health now. Stinky is a twin and his brother and sister are still with their mother." Mr Goodman added: "He's destined to be eaten - the kids will be horrified." 

Another farming task saw Kate try her hand at pig-weighing, which involves corralling a pig into a pen to be weighed. "The Duchess had a pig board and was brilliant with it," said Mr Goodman. "She said she had never done pig weighing before. The expression is 'stubborn as a mule' and pigs can be just as bad. We made sure we had three really quiet ones." At the end of the visit, he said: "It's been good fun. The Duchess is really hands on and really good fun and brilliant with the children - she has a rapport with them."  

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The royal visited a farm in Arlingham, Gloucestershire

The Duchess was also shown around the farm by children's author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare, who run the charity Farms For City Children. The couple set up the charity with the aim of giving children from the city the chance to spend a week on a real-working farm. During the engagement, Kate and the kids were treated to a storytelling session by Michael, author of War Horse and Kensuke's Kingdom. One of the charity's mission is to promote literacy and storytelling, as well as to give children an understanding of farming, the countryside and food production.

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The Duchess nailed casual chic for the outing

Children from all over the country usually spend a week living and working on a real farm where they learn about where their food comes from, and develop practical skills outside the classroom. The charity, founded by Michael and Clare in 1976, now has three working farms, where it welcomes around 3,200 children and 400 teachers a year.

The engagement ended with a short tea party, where Kate met some of the charity's volunteers, trustees and staff.