Thousands of visitors enjoyed a fantastic early Springtime experience when Reaseheath College opened its lambing sheds and zoo to the public last weekend.

The sell-out family event, which has been a major draw to Nantwich for the past 27 years, saw 5,000 visitors from across the region flocking to the college over the two days. Highlights included seeing young lambs gambolling alongside the ewes and learning first hand about the job of a shepherd.

Reaseheath’s Mini Zoo, which is one of the best at any educational institution in the country, was also open to the public. Visitors were able to visit the college’s extensive animal collection which includes meerkats, lemurs, otters, birds of prey, companion animals, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Activities at the zoo included educational talks by Reaseheath’s zoo keepers, and in particular the chance to learn more about the Ouessant sheep, a rare French heritage breed renowned for being the world’s smallest breed of sheep.

Families were also able to experience the college’s new immersive room and enjoy a local artisan market with a range of food outlets.

Nantwich resident Fiona Rose, visiting with husband James and daughters Millie, Keira and Isla, said: “This is a fantastic way for children to learn about agriculture and food production. It’s a great family day out and very good value.”

Megan Davies-Williams, aged 10, from Crewe, was enjoying her third visit to Reaseheath’s Lambing and Zoo Weekend. She said: “I really enjoy seeing the lambs and also the more unusual types of animals at the zoo. Each time I’ve been to Reaseheath I’ve learned something new.”

Reaseheath’s Event Manager Stephanie Owen commented: “We had a fabulous lambing weekend and received great comments from visitors about how well organised the event has been and how friendly and welcoming our staff and students are.”

Reaseheath usually holds its popular lambing events over two weekends but this year’s event was limited to just one weekend and at a slightly later date than usual.

This was due to a national virus which has affected many flocks throughout the country. As the virus can lead to complications during lambing, it was felt that it would be better, on welfare grounds, to allow the ewes to lamb away from public view in quiet areas where they could be monitored by vets and the college’s experienced farm staff.