THE families of servicemen and women based at RAF Brize Norton and Abingdon’s Dalton Barracks, currently fighting in Afghanistan, were treated to a special day out to the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

Arranged by the chairman of Oxfordshire County Council, Hilary Hibbert-Biles, she said the day was to say thank you to the families who hold the fort while their loved ones are away.

Mrs Hibbert-Biles said: “The children were really excited and very appreciative — there were many adults and children that came to say thank you. They were really appreciative and it was lovely to see them having a good time really.”

She added: “I think it’s very hard for families when their loved ones are away fighting in Afghanistan. This was just our way, in a small way, of helping them to have a really good day.”

Brize Wing Commander Adrian Bettridge said: “A day out at Cotswold Wildlife Park was a terrific treat for these families who have given up so much to support our service personnel.”