Getting face to face with some farmyard friends could be the secret to saying goodbye to pesky allergies for good.

A visit to a petting barn is a must do for any family holiday to Devon.

Whether it’s newborn lambs or pint-sized piglets you’ll find a whole array of cuddly creatures for you and your children to fall in love with inside a barn.

These wonderful moments create memories to last a lifetime, yet the good news doesn’t stop there. Did you know that these visits can also have a positive impact on your child’s long-term health too!

Scientists in Denmark have made some exciting new discoveries that they have playfully dubbed “the farmhouse effect”.

Researchers at Aarhus University have been exploring the link between children exposed to bugs found on farms, and the reduction of conditions such as: hay-fever, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and even asthma.

The science behind it

Scientists have discovered that the magical combination of micro-organisms found in the hay, straw and animal dust heavily stimulate your immune system.

This intense stimulation has a positive knock-on effect. Continuing to strengthen and balance your natural defences for years to come.

“The microbes train our immune system to fight off some of the more advanced and threatening viruses and bacteria that can make us sick,”  
– Kate Barnes a researcher for National Farm Medicine Center, Wisconsin, USA.

It seems the younger you are, the more likely you are to benefit; with some of the best results coming from children aged 3 and under. Great news for anyone with little ones.

Torben Sigsgaard, a former professor at Aarhus University and head of the investigation, hopes that his promising findings will one day lead to preventing these diseases altogether.

The Healthy News

It’s not just Sigsgaard’s team praising the health benefits of the countryside. There are endless studies supporting the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of children spending time around farming environments.

Healthy, happy children? That sounds like a winning combination! If you ask us there has never been a better a reason to head to North Devon.

So, there we have it! On your next visit to The Big Sheep be sure to pop into our animal barn, take a deep breath and reap the benefits for years to come. What are you waiting for?