• Ava McGuigan, eight months, and Mum Chloe McGuigan from Bebington, Wirral, enjoy meeting student Sophie Kirk and one of the lambs

Hundreds of local families flocked to Reaseheath College, Nantwich, over the weekend to welcome the first lambs of the season.

Undeterred by wintry weather, hundreds of visitors filled the college’s lambing sheds to meet the newborns and many were lucky enough to experience a live birth.

Reaseheath’s zoo was also open to the public, offering opportunities for families to see some of the extensive collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. They could also watch keepers feed meerkats, capybara, lemurs and otters.

Both attractions will be open again next weekend, March 11 and 12.

The lambing weekends, which have been held at Reaseheath for the for the past 21 years, are highly popular with families from Cheshire and surrounding counties and many visitors return each year.

Nikki Lewis from Congleton, who was watching the marmosets at the zoo with daughter Hollie Tolmie, five, said: “We enjoy coming to Reaseheath’s lambing weekends because they are really good value and great for younger children. There’s a lot to see and do – and the arrival of the lambs means that Spring isn’t far away!”

The college has a flock of 550 expectant ewes which are due to produce around 1,200 lambs over the next month. These include six sets of quads, 208 sets of triplets, 255 sets of twins and 59 single lambs. Hundreds of births are timed to coincide with the lambing weekends, giving as many visitors as possible the opportunity to see Reaseheath agricultural staff and students delivering and caring for the lambs.

Reaseheath shepherd Simon Baskerville said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors to witness this special event.  Opening the lambing sheds gives us the chance to show what we do here and to inform the public about the farming calendar.”

Reaseheath lambing sheds and zoo will open again next weekend, March 11 and 12 (10am – 4pm).

Find out more at www.reaseheath.ac.uk/lambing