Second Lambing Live proves that we love ewes

The Marstons with kate Humble, centre

The Marstons with kate Humble, centre

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Who would have guessed that watching farm animals stand in sheds waiting to give birth would make such addictive viewing.

Yes, Lambing Live was back this week on BBC Two, with indomitable presenter Kate Humble shoving her hands up sheep’s unmentionables at every opportunity.

The series saw Kate and proper farmer Adam Henson hanging around on the Marston’s hill farm in Cumbria, presenting live links between pre-recorded segments about farm life.

Every week night they updated viewers with the progress of the ewes (or ‘yaows’ as the young Mrs Marston calls them) throughout the stages of their labour.

And, of course, we witnessed the fraught, exciting and sloppy births of lots of little woolly lambs.

We learned about the breeds, the pedigrees and the business, as well as what life is like for the different generations on the farm.

Humble had witnessed the births of almost 200 of the cute critters during a five-day stay with the Beavan family in south Wales in the fist series last year and this time around she was hoping for even more.

There was plenty for her to get her teeth into (not literally, of course), with 698 pregnant sheep expecting a total 1,268 lambs.

But, despite having experienced the highs and lows of last year’s lambing season, Kate was still viewed as an apprentice by the Marstons, who’ve dedicated decades to hill farming.

The property in the picturesque Eden Valley is run by Andrew and his father Donald, who live in adjacent houses with their wives Rachel and Christine.

Last year, the Beavans were breeding commercially for meat, but for the Marstons, it’s all about breeding stock. They’re looking for quality, not quantity.

The breeds they specialise in are Swaledales, Beltexes, North of England Mules and Bluefaced Leicesters.

Kate was joined by Adam Henson who has delivered thousands of lambs of his own on his 1,624-acre farm in the Cotswolds.

And for those wondering how the Beavans are getting on this year, there was a chance to find out thanks to special updates from their farm.

Watch the best bits from the last five nights with the Marstons in Cumbria as Kate and Adam present Highlights from the Lambing Shed this evening from 6.30pm on BBC Two. The programme will show the highs and lows of lambing life.

The whole series is available to view on iPlayer and the BBC website has a special beginners guide to sheep, breeds and dedicated sites for both series.

Who would have guessed that the demand for watching sheep births was so high.

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