Mary had a little lamb – now Sparsholt College is having hundreds! An intense period of sleepless nights awaits on the farm at Sparsholt College as lambing season approaches. Ones of the busiest times in the farming calendar, and for many farms one of their largest sources of income, the arrival of twins and triplets aplenty will see students learning the ropes in a very hands-on fashion. To allow families to experience the natural wonder of birth and to learn about farming and shepherding, the College will be holding its annual Lambing Weekend on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January 2014.
This popular event attracts thousands of visitors who are keen to see the College’s 400 ewes lambing and it is now celebrating its 10th year. A busy time is on the cards as recent ultra-sounding identified 30 sets of triples, 143 sets of twins and 50 singles – that’s 426 lambs in total!
Shepherd John Garrett works with the sheep while the birthing takes place, assisted by Sparsholt College students. John also provides the viewing public with a running commentary and takes questions from the inquisitive onlookers. “We regularly have visitors who come back year on year as there aren’t many opportunities for the general public to get this close to nature. It is fascinating to watch lambs being born which of course prompts many questions – some of which can be quite unusual!”
A good view is ensured for all thanks to pen-side walkways and a large video screen. Lambing Weekend is a fantastic opportunity for children and adults alike to watch lambs being born and to enjoy a family day out. There are lots of activities to take part in, including tractor and trailer rides, quizzes and puzzles, and mid-afternoon milking. Visitors can talk to the herdsman and students about our herd, and there will be lots of farm machinery to explore. Local crafts will be on sale and refreshments will be available to purchase throughout the day.
Open from 9.30am – 3.30pm, admission is £5.00 per adult and £3.50 per child (age 3 to 16) – under 3’s are free. A family ticket (two adults and two children) can be purchased for £15.00.
Sparsholt College is perfectly safe for children and adults to visit; however, we do advise that all visitors thoroughly wash their hands after touching any animals or areas where animals live in accordance with the instructions at the farm. The College will provide plentiful hand washing facilities for all visitors.
It is vitally important that pregnant women should NOT attend this event. With lambing flocks there is always a risk of a disease presence which can cause miscarriage in women.
Unfortunately dogs are not permitted and it is College policy that dogs are not left in vehicles.
Tickets can be bought on the day but for more information please visit www.sparsholt.ac.uk.