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Reaseheath’s lambing and zoo promise twice the fun

Local families can enjoy twice the fun if they visit Reaseheath College, Nantwich, during the first two weekends in March.

Preparations are well in hand for the college’s popular lambing events and the campus zoo will also be open to the public.

Reaseheath’s lambing weekends have been a community highlight for over 20 years and attract thousands of visitors eager to meet the new arrivals in the lambing sheds. The college has a flock of 500 sheep ready to give birth and about 1,000 lambs are expected over a three week period.

A big screen will show highlights of the action and experts will be on hand to demonstrate the special care required for fostering lambs. Children will be encouraged to watch and learn as lambs are bottle fed and given health checks.

Reaseheath’s shepherd Ollie Bagley, 21, a former Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student, is in charge of a rota of students who are gaining practical experience in  lambing sheds.

He said: “Everything is ready for the lambing weekends. Fortunately for us the sheep are indoors but we are obviously hoping that the weather will pick up and that the fields will dry out.”

Families will also have the chance to see some of the  animals in Reaseheath’s zoo, which include meerkats, lemurs, tapirs, otters, birds of prey and companion animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

This year’s theme is agricultural rare breeds and visitors will be encouraged to meet the college’s golden Guernsey goat kids. There will be children’s arts and craft sessions and other fun activities along with educational talks by Reaseheath zoo keepers. Young visitors to lambing will also be able to plant up baskets with Spring bulbs and flowers.

 

Reaseheath College’s lambing sheds and zoo will open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, March 1 / 2 and on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 / 9 from 10am to 4pm. Hot refreshments will be available and outdoor plants from the college’s Crop Shop will be for sale.  A family ticket for both attractions is £25. For further details see www.reaseheath.ac.uk/lambing  phone 01270 613215 or email miriamh@reaseheath.ac.uk

Farm and dairy herd brings in the cream

Our farm staff were over the mooooooon last week after receiving one of the most prestigious awards in the Cheshire County Farms competition.

We won the category for best farm over 500 acres, a tremendous accolade as we were judged against some of the best commercial farms in the county. The farm was judged as a whole, with the judges inspecting our dairy herd, pig unit, sheep flock and arable and growing crops.

Awards in this competition are particularly welcome, as the judging panel are made up of farmers who really know the industry.

Reaseheath Holsteins were awarded third place in three categories: premier dairy herd, in calf heifers and maiden heifers.

Farm Manager Mark Yearsley said: “gaining these awards against competition with the best shows what a great farm and great staff we have. We were delighted to win the awards and I’d like to thank the team for all the hard work they put in to make it happen.”

The awards, which were handed over at a dinner at the Civic Hall, Nantwich,  also included a new category ‘Competent Young Person in Agriculture’ which is sponsored by Reaseheath.

This is open to young people aged between 16 and 24 who work on a Cheshire farm. Marks are awarded for enthusiasm, passion, competence, responsibilities and future aspirations. The applicants are judged at their workplace as they carry out their job.

All the young people in the top four places were trained at Reaseheath. The winner, David Marrow, completed his agricultural apprenticeship with us as did second placed Andrew Dodgson and equal third Richard Venables. Will Mansell, also equal third, is a current Level 3 student.