Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 20:23 UK

Chernobyl children at farm maze

Chernobyl children in Maize Maze
The children were given a tour of the 8ft-high maze

Children affected by the Chernobyl disaster from have visited a farm maze in Cornwall as part of a visit to the UK to help boost their immune systems.

The 10 children spent time at the Cornish Maize Maze at Smeaton Farm, near Saltash, as part of their a month-long visit to England.

They were brought over by the charity Chernobyl Children Lifeline.

The charity said the visit would help their health as they were away from contaminated areas near their homes.

Life expectancy

The children were given a tour of the 8ft (2.4m) high maze which is has been cut into the shape of a wind turbine.

The farm said the children enjoyed the maze, bounced on a bouncy castle and climbed a hay bale tower.

Andy Hannaford from the charity said maze visit was a highlight of their month-long stay because those who wanted to could simply relax in the countryside with lots of fresh air, while others enjoy other activities.

Smeaton Farm's maize turbine
The turbine maze is due to be cut down at the end of August

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, just north of Kiev, in the Ukraine, was the scene of the world's worst civilian nuclear accident in April 1986, when one of its reactors exploded.

The contamination spread across neighbouring Belarus, and into Europe. Illnesses caused by radiation exposure remain common among children from the most-affected areas who were not even born at the time.

Chernobyl Children Lifeline aims to bring child victims of the disaster to the UK for recuperative breaks.

Such breaks allow immune systems to recover and extend their life expectancy. Every two weeks they spend away can help them gain an extra year of life, the charity said.

The maze is due to be cut down at the end of August to be used as cattle feed.



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