CHILDREN descended on a manor farm in Witney as it opened its doors for some winter fun.

Cogges Manor Farm will officially open for the new season in March, but took the opportunity of half-term to invite some familiar faces.

The farm opened to the public for three days of owl-related activities, with the final events taking place today.

On Monday there was storytelling and crafts in the kitchen while yesterday there was a session run by Science Oxford called ‘Owl Detectives’.

For the Science Oxford sessions, an ecologist taught children about owls and gave them the opportunity to dissect an owl pellet to identify the unlucky creatures that formed the owl’s last meal.

Today, children will return to Cogges for more storytelling and kitchen crafts.

Director of Cogges Heritage Trust, Colin Shone, said: “We obviously, over the winter, have a lot of things we need to get done – but we do miss our regulars.

“So doing something like this before we open again is nice both ways.

“Not everything is up and running by February so it’s good to see people coming in and supporting Cogges.”

The half-term sessions come as Cogges prepares to open for a brand new season in just one month’s time.

Volunteers have been working hard to give the farm a thorough spruce up before the reopening.

More pigs, sheep and ducks will be added.

Mr Shone said: “It’s good to see people and it's a good opportunity for people to come in early and get their new season tickets ahead of the opening next month.

“At the minute there’s a lot going on. People are improving the paths, there’s a lot of painting going on. It’s like a spring clean.”

Cogges Manor Farm will properly open its doors again on the weekend of Saturday, March 17.

The opening weekend will offer visitors a taste of the very best of Cogges, from feeding the animals to cooking demonstration in the manor house.

On both days guests can feed the animals and meet the rabbits and guinea pigs at 11am and 2pm

There will also be a chance to speak to garden volunteers in the walled garden, preparing the ground for spring and the new season, on the Saturday from 10am to 12pm

Cogges Manor Farm, a 13th century manor house coupled with 17th century buildings, is steeped in rich history.

The farm appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the estate’s first owner was Wadard, who appears as a Norman knight riding a horse on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Cogges Manor was once held by kings of England including Henry VII and Henry VIII. The latter gave the land to Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College, Oxford.

Wealthy wool merchant William Blake owned Cogges in the 17th century and became High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. He was linked to the Witney wool trade and funded the Buttercross in Witney and neighbouring Blake School.