Happy times together at the 1st “Ditcham After Dark”

On Friday 26th June FDPS ran the first of, what we hope will be, a new annual event; “Ditcham After Dark”…

Midsummer CampingFrom 4.30pm, over 100 happy campers travelled up the hill with a variety of tents and camping equipment, picnics and supplies ready for a great opportunity to stay overnight in the School’s Walled Garden… which for the night became the most exclusive campsite on the South Downs!


The weather was dry, if a little blowy, as the tents started to be pitched.  The children ran happily around the grounds while the campsite came together… with just over 50 tents appearing!  Many families then joined in the School’s Family Sports Evening, and a competitive series of Tug O’War was a highlight!

IMG_2049IMG_2053IMG_2057IMG_2043As dusk fell, we were joined by David Andrews of The Hampshire Bat Group, who had agreed to come to the site to lead a number of “bat walks” in the woods to the north of the School grounds.  After a short introductory talk, during which the children serenaded David to a rendition of the Batman theme tune (and he reassured us all he’d “never heard that one before”!) and then each group were off for a 25 minute walk suitably equiped with “bat detectors”!  We were lucky; two out of the three groups observed some bats during their walks  – sorry group 3, the bats had obviously “skidaddled” by the time you were out!!


A small fire pit was lit, marshmallows were toasted…and a drink or two was enjoyed amongst friends.  “Lights out” at 11.30pm ensured everyone was rested well enough for a fairly early start on Saturday morning at first light…when the BBQ was lit and bacon sandwiches were prepared for all!

IMG_2094IMG_2095IMG_2100The evening was an amazing success; we have listened to a lot of ideas received on the night for next year’s event – a two day “Ditchfest” is high on the agenda and the FDPS Committee is buzzing with many ideas already!  If you have any more suggestions for us, please do get in touch with us via our Contact Page or by FDPS email [email protected]


A sincere thanks to all who attended and made some more extra special Ditcham memories… “see you next time”!