Visitors to Reaseheath College were able to enjoy an early taste of Spring over the weekend despite the wintry weather.
Although Storm Jorge forced the cancellation of Saturday’s Lambing and Zoo event, the Nantwich college was able to open its new lambing sheds to the public as planned on Sunday. Over 500 families flocked through the gates to meet the newborns, visited the college’s mini zoo and enjoyed eating local produce and browsing market stalls.
The popular event, which has been a major draw to Nantwich for the past 24 years, will be repeated next weekend, March 7 and 8 (10am – 4pm). This year it offers an improved experience as the sheep flock is now housed in more spacious facilities on the college’s main campus and there is a greater range of food outlets.
Regular lambing visitor Amy Blackburn from Crewe, who was meeting the lambs with six year-old daughter Katelynn said: “We come each year because it’s such a nice event for the younger age group and gives them the opportunity to do something special like holding a lamb. This year the set-up is better because it’s more spacious and you have a great view.”
Jenny Savage from Frodsham, returning for the fourth year with daughter Emma, aged seven, said: “We always keep a look out for this event because Emma loves cuddling the lambs. The new layout makes it easy to get around and is more convenient for the zoo. We’ve also liked the wider choice of catering stalls.”
Rachael Hendrie from Nantwich, who was visiting with three year-old Poppie Hendrie-Hall and two other family members said: “Today has been brilliant for all the family. There’s so much to do and being able to see and touch animals introduces another dynamic.”
Kate Metcalfe from Wilmslow, a first time visitor with Owen, seven, and Henry, 10, commented: “This has been a really lovely event. Our trip round the zoo has particularly exceeded my expectations, it’s in such a beautiful setting and has a really interesting range of animals.”
Reaseheath has a commercial flock of over 300 expectant ewes which are due to produce more than 600 lambs around the time of the lambing events. The college’s mini zoo, which is one of the best at any educational institution in the country, houses over 1,000 animals including meerkats, lemurs, a tapir, otters, birds of prey, companion animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Experienced agricultural staff and zoo keepers are present throughout to demonstrate how they care for their animals and to answer questions.
Event organiser Stephanie Owen said: “We hope our visitors enjoyed their lambing and zoo experience and we’re looking forward to welcoming more families onto campus next weekend.”
Entry for traffic is at Entrance 1 off B5074 Worleston Road and car parking is free.
Photos from Tim Jervis Professional Photography: