Spring is finally on its way and with that brings lots of very adorable lambs being born in the British countryside.
Lambs are just so cute and cuddly that its no wonder that sheep are so popular in nursery rhymes such as Little Bo Peep, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mary Had a Little Lamb. Millions of lambs will be born this spring with many of them here in the north east.
Each spring the fields fill up with ewes and their new lambs - a seasonal feature of the landscape but also a reminder of a way of life that’s shaped the country and the countryside.
As part of my day job, I was lucky enough to see these two gorgeous lambs being born at Hall Hill Farm this weekend that will soon be frolicking in the fields.
My boys absolutely love the sheep and the lambs. From watching the mothers in the maternity ward, to seeing a live birth, to feeding the newborns and their mothers, and then watching them frolick around the fields and even race!
Yes, my youngest is wearing my hat! He loves it too.
5 Amazing Facts about Lambs
1. Over 1 billion sheep in the world
Around 16 million lambs will be born in the UK this Spring but there are over 1 billion sheep in the world - with only 3% of them in this country. China has the largest number of sheep in the world.
2. Not all bleats sound the same.
A Ewe is pregnant for 147-8 days and within 10 minutes of being born a lamb is up on its feet. Not all bleats sound the same. Ewes recognise their lambs by their call when they wander too far away or get mixed in with the flock. But sheep also have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.
3. Sheep support wildlife and plant biodiversity.
As well being beautiful creatures and creating picturesque landscapes, sheep also support wildlife and plant biodiversity. Without sheep grassland would become overtaken by scrub and coarse vegetation, becoming less valuable to many types of plants, small mammals and ground-nesting birds, and at risk of environmental damage by wildfires.
4. As herbivores sheep are ideal for 60% of UK farmland
Adult female sheep are known as ewes and adult male sheep are known as rams. Young sheep are called lambs. A group of sheep is known as a herd, flock or mob. Sheep are herbivores that eat vegetation such as grass. Around 60% of UK farmland is only suitable to grow grass. Sheep farming is, therefore, one of the most suitable ways to use this land.
5. Fleece protects from hot and cold climate.
Sheep produce a thick woolly coat called a fleece to protect them from the weather, both hot and cold. Wool is the most sustainable fibre in the world. A sheep's fleece protects them from both cold and heat. Once sheared the fleece is worth up to £3. Nearly 30,000 tonnes of fleece is produced in the UK every year.
Where to See Lambs in the north east?
Apart from the abundance of lambs in the farmers' fields around the countryside you can also head to Hall Hill Farm in County Durham, Whitehouse Farm and Broom House Farm in Northumberland, Ouseburn Farm, Bill Quay Farm and The Rising Sun in Tyneside as well as Saltholme in Teesside to see new born lambs close up this year.
If you are lucky you may even see toon sheep!
At Hall Hill Farm the male lambs will have the chance to become top sheep racers - I kid you not, When the racers are selected and trained this summer ... will it be Ewesain Bolt, Lady Baa Baa or Shaun The Sheep ... the popular races are run daily at 1.30pm!
Lamb-Cam brings lambing into your home
There few better sights in the world than seeing new life being born, and lambs are no exception. If you are not able to see lambing live this spring, or if you are an expectant mother for whome these events are not suitable, then there is 24 hour Lamb-Cam showing live footage from the 'maternity' barn at Hall Hill Farm. View live lambing throughout lambing season.
Have you seen a lamb being born?