DELIGHTED school children have welcomed an unusual new arrival to their New Forest school.

Adorable filly Jemima was born to mum Mallards Wood Juno and dad Mallards Wood Law and Order after Moyles Court School decided to exercise its commoning rights of grazing.

Staff and pupils at Moyles Court, near Ringwood, are now looking forward to releasing the family on to the forest next month.

The Independent day and boarding school, is positioned within the National Park, and enjoys the grazing rights associated with its 17th Century Mansion House.

Last autumn the school embarked on a journey to practise their commoning rights and with the help and support of Agisters Jonathan Garelli and Robert Maton their little herd started.

One pregnant mare and two filly foals were acquired in October last year and have been cared for by the proprietor of the school in Lymington until such time they can be released onto the forest around the school.

The safe arrival of the filly foal Jemima on Sunday May 19 means the little herd is now ready to be released onto the forest, planned for late June following the departure of the stallions.

Pupils have had a visit from Mr Garelli, explaining how the Forest is run, and how to enjoy and respect the forest and all the animals that graze within.

The pupils will help to monitor the progress of the herd from a safe distance and will be encouraged to take part in some of the forest activities associated with commoning.

Headteacher Richard Milner-Smith, is a strong advocate of educating the whole child and he and his team continuously work to develop an exciting range of opportunities for their pupils.

He said: "The New Forest herd offers us a perfect window to educate our pupils about our unique surroundings. Our school is quite familiar with four legged visitors, with Nutty the school Cocker Spaniel and Betsy the Reception class dog, both great stress busters, and Oreo the Shetland Pony who pops in for visits regularly. They all make Moyles Court a very happy place to be.”