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Sarah Thatcher with sons Henry and Rupert at Peel Forest Preschool pet parade

STAFF REPORTER

There were lambs with little toy riders, a miniature horse, puppies, a goat and plenty of dogs at the Peel Forest Preschool pet parade.

And plenty of morning tea and sunshine.

Florence Harley and Lucy the dog at the Peel Forest Preschool pet day

The children and adults led the animals in a circle for judging, then everyone tucked into a morning tea of cakes and scones brought in by parents and supporters.

The preschool operates in what was Peel Forest Primary School.

It closed in 1998 to merge with Carew school across the Rangitata in Mid Canterbury, and the late Tony Timpson, founder of Cavalier Bremworth Carpets, gave the community enough money to buy the school and its schoolhouse.

Mr Timpson was brought up at Peel Forest.

That led to the school being used for the Peel Forest Preschool (it welcomes more pupils) and the school house is used as a retreat for families who look after special needs children.

The buildings are in expansive grounds, and the whole enterprise is administered by a community trust.