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29 March 2017

Spring sunshine attracts thousands to Lackham for successful second Lambing weekend

Glorious spring sunshine ensured thousands of visitors and staff made their way to Wiltshire College Lackham over the weekend hoping for the chance to see a lamb being born.

And many were thrilled to successfully witness the arrival of single lambs, twins and triplets at Notton Farm, where more than 1,000 ewes have been lambing.

Ian Revill, who is the Assistant Principal at Lackham, said: “What a difference the sunshine made!

“It was so nice to see people enjoying a taste of real spring.

“I don't think we have ever had as many lambs as this year being born in front of visitors before in any other years.

“Most people who were game to patiently 'stake out' at pens, were rewarded with the sight of a ewe giving birth.

Farm Manager Phil Steans introduced the event more than 22 years ago.

He said: “We were delighted to see so many people at Lackham.

"Every year it gets bigger and the second weekend was the busiest I think I ever remember seeing it.”

Whilst the public were able to visit Lackham for two weekends, the Lambing season was been underway for quite some time beforehand with staff and students working tirelessly to ensure the healthy arrival of their flock.

This was Level 3 Agricultural student Francesca Freeman-Jones' first ever lambing and she enjoyed every minute saying: "I want to become a farm manager and so came to Lackham to learn about all aspects of farming.

"I live on a 100-cattle beef farm so this was completely new to me.

“I have lost count of the number of lambs I saw being born now and felt confident to deal with all aspects of lambing.

"It was fantastic to see so many people here and I enjoyed meeting lots of visitors and introducing them to our lambs."

Second year Level 3 Agricultural student Ben Harley, 17, said: “I've learned to drive different makes of tractors on this course and being able to drive so many over the lambing weekends made me even more enthusiastic to start my new career in agriculture.”

Chris Taylor, Deputy Head of Department for Agriculture and Horticulture, said: “I am immensely proud of all the students that worked over the two lambing weekends.

“Thank you to all the tractor drivers and guides, those on lambing duty and those who showed the public how cows are milked.

“They all did a fantastic job and we should all be grateful at how they represented both the agriculture and farm mechanisation departments.

“In addition I would like to thank all the staff from all the campuses who worked so hard and made the event such an immense success.”

In addition to the lambs, visitors thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of Lackham’s smaller residents including rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, piglets, donkeys and goats.

Other curriculum areas also supported the event with Beauty Therapy students offering tattoos and face painting and Art & Design students from the Chippenham campus hosting popular felting workshops as well as organising an art exhibition.

Foundation Studies students also ran the tea shop at Home Farm, which they made cakes for and Land Based and Farm Mechanisation students drove the tractors and built personnel trailers to transport passengers.