There was a surprise for pupils at Hemingford Grey Primary School as they welcomed a new set of feathered friends to their flock.

There was consternation after one of the school’s hens disappeared last month but, after an extensive search, she popped up under the chicken coop with eight new chicks.

To accommodate the new additions, Jeremy Birkin, the school site manager, used money raised from the schools farmer’s market to develop and build a new home for the chickens to move into.

Hayley Coulter, office manager, said: “The children take turns in collecting the eggs each day which the school kitchen purchases.

“These eggs are then used as part of the school dinner menu and then the money raised goes towards funding the costs of the chickens and further developing the school grounds.”