A NEW nursery and preschool offering a “wholly different approach” is set to open in Andover this September.

Finkley Down Farm Nursery and Preschool will open adjacent to the family-friendly attraction and is a partnership between Finkley Down Farm and Whitchurch childminder, Alison Dennis.

Mrs Dennis said: “What makes this different to just a normal nursery opening is that this represent a wholly different approach to childcare that has not been available in the Andover area before now.

“This means that every child that comes to us will not only get to use our purposely designed children’s nursery but will be able to utilise all the facilities of the farm.

“Even when the farm isn’t open we will have access.

“The children will truly be learning through play.”

The 37-year-old, who also lives in Whitchurch, was rated as “outstanding” at her last Ofsted inspection.

The mother-of-three added: “It’s so unique and it’s an opportunity for the children to experience something different.”

The new venture came about when the director of Finkley Down Farm, Charlie Waters, was approached by a big company who wanted to partner up and start a nursery with him.

Mr Waters mentioned the idea to Mrs Dennis, who regularly visits the farm with the child she looks after.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity for the children “It should be a great partnership for the nursery and farm. I was impressed with the amazing enthusiasm Alison had for the project and also her experience as a child minder.”

Mrs Dennis’ husband, Gary, says it has taken about a year for the project to get planning permission.

He said: “Everyone just wants this to succeed and the feedback has been supportive and that’s given us a boost. It’s been brilliant.

“When someone’s come round they’ve said ‘it’s amazing’ and not what they expected. It’s just going to be great for the local children.”

Finkley Down Farm, on North Way, was recently crowned the winner in the Family Attraction category of this year’s Muddy Stilettos Awards Hampshire.

Spaces are still available for the school, for children aged two to five, for information, visit finkleydownfarmnursery.co.uk