Wow! New life begins at Penpont Farm. Picture: Philip Hartley
It’s miraculous. Amazing. Unforgettable.
And yet it’s commonplace on British farms.
Every year, 16 million ewes give birth in the UK.
These days, lambing takes place anytime between November and May – but the birth rate still peaks in spring.
Our writer Ali Wood recently took her kids to the farm to witness the wonders of lambing – and you can read all about her experience in the April issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine, in shops from 16 March until 13 April, 2017.
Or why not see this annual ritual for yourself – and head to a sheep farm this spring. It’s a wonderful learning experience for adults and children alike.
Here are eight farms around the UK where you can have a spring break and watch lambs being born.
Eight farms stays for lambing season
Experience life on Penpont working farm, featured in the pictures above and below, while staying in one of a range of self-catering holiday cottages. Take part in a range of activities from feeding the guinea pigs in Pet Corner to lambing and sitting on a tractor. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, farm trail and play barn, and a hide for bird-watching. Low-season prices start at £420 per week for a one-bed, dog-friendly cottage.
Mother ewe greets her lamb at Penpont Farm. Picture: Philip Hartley
Lambing takes place on a large scale here, with 1,000 pregnant ewes giving birth in four different farm buildings, just a stone’s throw from the shepherd’s hut and oast house holiday homes. Prices start at £400 per week for a two-person shepherd’s hut.
Guests can help the shepherds lamb the 600 ewes, including day-to-day running of the flock, feeding, cleaning and bedding-down pens, nursing and bottle-feeding pet lambs. Half-board costs £60 per person per day.
There are more than 300 sheep to lamb this season. Visitors can also combine their stay with fishing in one of the well-stocked lakes and walks around the farm and surrounding countryside. A one-bedroom pine lodge with hot tub costs £420 a week.
Lambing starts in March at this 5,000-acre farm, which runs for five miles from the loch shore to the head of the glen, and has 2,000 Scottish Blackface ewes. Join in with lambing, shearing and gathering the flock. Bed and breakfast costs £30 per adult per night.
Lambing takes place in March and April at Stay Lambing Live, so named because this was the location in 2011 for the BBC’s Lambing Live, presented by Kate Humble and Adam Henson. The 400-acre farm has 850 sheep. The three-bed cottage costs £1,085 per week.
Watch lambs being born between January and April, and hand-feed orphan lambs between March and June. Prices start at £285 per week for a 1-bed cottage.
In the spring and summer you can bottle-feed orphan lambs four times a day and bucket-feed calves on this farm on the Welsh-English border near Presteigne. Note, there are not always lambs so please call ahead. Prices start at £915 per week for a three-bed cottage.
The children meet the lambs at Penpont Farm. Picture: Philip Hartley