TEDDY bears of all ages, shapes and sizes are invited to join in with an historic teddy bears' birthday picnic this May half term at Arlington Court, the National Trust house near Barnstaple. On Tuesday, May 26 from 11am-3pm the property will be holding

TEDDY bears of all ages, shapes and sizes are invited to join in with an historic teddy bears' birthday picnic this May half term at Arlington Court, the National Trust house near Barnstaple. On Tuesday, May 26 from 11am-3pm the property will be holding the picnic in honour of George, a 100-year-old bear which takes pride of place in the nursery in the main house. He will be accompanied for the whole of the half term week by other well-loved teddy bears, which have been brought in by the staff and volunteers who work at Arlington Court. On the actual day of the picnic there will be everything from teddy bear races to jam sandwich making! The idea for the picnic came up when one of the volunteers who meet and greet visitors at Arlington pointed out that it was George's birthday coming up and it should be marked, especially as it is also 60 years this year since Arlington was given to the National Trust."So we thought what better way to celebrate the birthday of an old bear that has been treasured for so long than to invite a whole host of bears that have been well-loved to join him," said visitor services manager Michelle Fullard. "Many people have that one special teddy bear, often with a fascinating story to tell, so we've asked everyone to bring in their special friend for the week. "For example, my bear is very old and was given to me by a next door neighbour when my Mum took me round to visit. They had no children of their own and wanted to make sure Ted was loved by someone else."In Paddington Bear style, each teddy will have a label round its neck that tells its story.All visitors to the property on May 26 are invited to bring their own teddies and in keeping with the Paddington theme there will be a jam sandwich making workshop! At the end of half term week there will be a chance for children interested in growing vegetables, like they do in the kitchen garden at Arlington, to learn how to make a wormery at a drop-in workshop, 'Wormeries for Growing Gardeners' on Friday May 29 from 11am-3pm. The picnic and games are free with normal admission (free to National Trust members), a go on the bouncy castle is £1. Wormeries for Growing Gardeners is also free with normal admission.