Public invited to experience magical lambing season at Sparsholt

Lambing at Sparsholt College
Lambing at Sparsholt College

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VISITORS can share in the magical experience of lambing when a college opens its doors to the public.

Around 450 lambs are expected to be born at Sparsholt College in the coming weeks and visitors are likely to see live births over the weekend of January 30-31.

Shepherd John Garrett said: ‘We regularly have visitors who come back year on year as there aren’t many opportunities for the public to get this close to nature.

‘It is fascinating and a privilege to watch any animals being born and we welcome the opportunity to share this experience widely.’

Lambing at Sparsholt, near Winchester, comes earlier than on most farms, with the first raft of lambs due soon. There are 447 lambs due comprising 28 sets of triplets, 157 sets of twins and 49 singles.

For many, the Lambing Weekend at Sparsholt is the first time they get to see an actual live birth.

To ensure everyone gets a good view, there will be pen-side walkways and a large video screen.

But the college has warned pregnant women should not attend the event. With lambing flocks there is a risk of a disease presence which can cause miscarriage in women.

The college’s big barn doors will be open from 9.30am to 3.30pm for visitors to enjoy first hand and at close quarters the 249 ewes lambing.

In addition to welcoming the lambs there will also be pony rides, children’s craft activities, including metal sculpting, quizzes and puzzles, pedal tractor grand prix, and tractors and farm machinery to explore. New for 2016 is the welly wanging championships.

Admission is £6 for adults and £4 for children aged three to 16.

Under-threes are free. Two adults and two children age three to 16 can purchase a family ticket for £16. Tickets can be bought on the day but for more information, visit sparsholt.ac.uk.