Hundreds of families flocked to Reaseheath College in Nantwich over the weekend for the first of two lambing events.
Spring has arrived early in the college’s lambing sheds with the arrival of the first lambs of the season. Visitors were able to meet the newborns and some were lucky enough to experience a live birth. The campus zoo, which is one of the best at any educational institution in the country, was also open to the public. Both attractions will open again next weekend – March 8 and 9.
Reaseheath’s lambing weekends have been a community highlight for over 20 years. The college has a flock of 500 sheep which are expected to produce 1,000 lambs over a three week period.
As well as meeting the ewes and their new families, visitors were able to watch a big screen showing highlights of the action and watch experts demonstrating the special care required for the delivery and care of the lambs.
Reaseheath’s sheep unit manager Ollie Bagley, 21, a former Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student, has been overseeing the births helped by lambing assistants Chris Adamson and Callum Pitchford and a rota of students who are gaining practical experience in the lambing sheds.
Ollie said: “Lambing is traditionally the first sign of spring and this event is always very popular, with some visitors returning year after year. Opening the lambing sheds gives us the chance to show what we do here and it’ll be even better next weekend because we’ll have even more lambs. As well giving the public the unique experience of seeing lambs being born, it is also a great opportunity for us to educate them about the farming calendar.”
Carys Williams, aged 8, from Sandbach, has been to Reaseheath’s lambing event for the last four years. She said: “It’s been really fun. I love coming to see the lambs and it’s just the best when you get one to hold.”
There were also plenty of activities at Reaseheath’s zoo, which houses over 1,000 animals including meerkats, lemurs, tapirs, otters, birds of prey, companion animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, reptiles and amphibians. There were children’s arts and craft sessions and other fun activities along with educational talks by Reaseheath zoo keepers.