Cambridgeshire

Hot air balloon lands at Bassingbourn schools 'to avoid sheep'

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Media captionHot air balloon lands on school grounds

A man landed his hot air balloon on a Cambridgeshire school playing field "to avoid sheep", he said.

Adrian Brown made the "unscheduled landing" between Bassingbourn Primary School and the village college at about 08:40 GMT on Tuesday.

Unable to reach Royston Heath because of light winds, and not wanting to "disturb sheep" in a nearby field, he chose the playground.

Primary head Sue Brown said the unexpected visitor "made their day".

Mr Brown, from Litlington in Cambridgeshire, arrived on his single-person "hopper" balloon - one that does not have a basket - "just as the bell was ringing", Mrs Brown said.

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Image copyright Bassingbourn Village College
Image caption He landed between two schools to avoid disturbing sheep in a nearby field
Image copyright Charlotte Perkin
Image caption The single-person balloon landed on the frosty playing field just before school started

He said he had set off 30 minutes earlier from a field north of Bassingbourn and was aware the wind conditions were light and variable.

"Ideally we like to land close to a road or track to enable easy access for the retrieve crew to come and collect us," Mr Brown said.

"With such light winds I didn't think we would be able to reach the heath at Royston.

"The Royston Road from Litlington has the complication of power lines and sheep in the fields which I did not want to disturb."

Image copyright Bassingbourn Village College
Image caption Adrian Brown has been ballooning for 25 years

When he landed, Mr Brown was greeted by a familiar face - his daughter, who is a pupil at Bassingbourn Village College.

"[She] came across and said hello, which was lovely," Mr Brown said.

The engineering company boss has been ballooning for 25 years.

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