Thousands flock to Lambing Day at Bishop Burton College
Despite the cold, spring was in the air as around 3,000 people turned out to welcome the season’s first lambs today.
Families flocked to Bishop Burton College to be part of Lambing Sunday for a special Mother’s Day treat.
The first new born arrived last week and the births have continued since.
More than 1,400 lambs are expected to be born at Bishop Burton College in the next three to four weeks.
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Lizzie Jennings, head shepherd at the college, was on hand to deliver the lambs on what is her busiest day of the year.
She said: “We have a fantastic fertility rate, as scans show that our flock of around 600 sheep are carrying an average of two lambs each, which is the ideal number for a ewe to care for.
“You can tell when a ewe is about to lamb as she’ll separate herself off from the flock and try to find a quiet spot to ‘nest’. “From the moment the first water breaks I’ll time the process, but as much as possible we leave them to it, only getting involved if the sheep really needs assistance.”
The first visitors to the lambing shed at 11am were just in time to witness a rare live birth.
Four-year-old Delilah Groves, from Beverley, came to see the lambs for the second year running with her mum Helen Germaine and dad James Groves.
Delilah, who named the lamb she was holding Lilly-Rose, said: “It is really nice to hold a lamb, they’re so soft.”
Helen, 39, said it was a perfect way to spend Mother’s Day and praised the college for the work it has done to put on the event.
“The day is really well run and it is a really special thing to be a part of,” she said.
“It is something a bit different and a great experience for the children to hold and stroke a lamb.”
With births set to continue for a number of weeks, staff are working around the clock to tend to the sheep’s every needs.
Lizzie has six years of lambing experience and has been shepherding on Lambing Sunday at Bishop Burton College for three.
“I absolutely love lambing, it’s my favourite time of year,” she said.
“People are always surprised by the physical nature of the birth and it’s a wonderful experience for adults and children who don’t have the opportunity to be around farm animals, let alone to witness new life come into the world.
“It’s such a positive experience, however many lambs I see, it’s still special when they wobble to their legs for the first time.
“It’s rewarding for the farm workers and public alike.”
Isabella Taylor, four, and her sister Emelia, one, travelled from Cleethorpes with their parents Nathan and Melissa Taylor.
It was the first time they had held a lamb and soon fell in love with the animal.
Nathan said: “It is a chance for the kids to experience something new. They have loved the experience and want to take it home. We will certainly be back again.”
Although staff monitor the lambs throughout the day, Lizzie said they try to keep the birthing process as natural as possible.
“We leave it all down to the mother to give birth when and where she feels comfortable,” she said.
“We will only step in if there are complications and then we will leave the new borns for a few days before introducing them to other lambs.”
Staff are now waiting for the weather to improve and for the grass to grow in order to release the lambs into the fields.