Sunday 10th March was the annual Lambing Sunday at our local agricultural college in Bishop Burton, East Yorkshire. Inspired by Julie and her trip to Lackham College in Wiltshire
, we decided it was time we did the same.
It was very busy when we arrived and the cars were bumper-to-bumper but the events team did a good job of getting everyone parked up.
It cost £20 for us to get in – 3 adults, 2 children, and the two babies were free.
Firstly, we went to see the pigs. There were hundreds, all at different stages of growth. Information boards were supplied to explain what was going on in each area.
Then we went to see the sheep and the new lambs. The queue to pet the lambs was ma-hoo-sive, so we went to the sheep barn instead. There were about 200 sheep in there, all ready to give birth within the next week. There were some lambs born while we were there, but we missed them as we were doing other things.
Once the lambs had been born, they were moved with their mothers to holding pens.
We had a good look at all the new lambs, and then went to find somewhere for lunch. There wasn’t much really apart from an upstairs cafe in the equestrian arena. It looked nice enough but the queue was huge. We had taken pack-up so we found a row of seats in the arena and watched some show-jumping by the college students and their horses while we munched. Very entertaining.
We then went back into the cold (and it did snow quite a bit while we were there), and went to have a play on the tractors.
Just nearby is the outdoor animal enclosure, which houses alpacas, meerkats, rheas, and lemurs. The children loved the meerkats the best, and also the lemurs who were sunbathing in matching positions.
Inside, there were small animals for us to look at, including chinchillas, rabbits, mice, rats, and lizards. Fascinating.
Desperate to cuddle a lamb we went back to see if the queues had gone down, and they had!! After only a few minutes, we got to meet a week-old lamb. She was very cute.
You sit on hay bales and a handler brings one over. The lambs are rotated so that they’re not away from their mothers for too long. We had a few minutes with her and then re-joined the queue for another turn with another one. And another. And another.
We had a quick ramble round the sheep barn again just to see if there were any imminent births. But there wasn’t, so we had another go with the lambs again, as a way of consolation.
Total time spent – 3 hours.
Baby changing facilities (or toilets) are not in abundance. Go when you find them.
Don’t go before lunch. It was heaving. If you can go after lunch, you’ve still got enough time to see everything and the queues and crowds are much smaller.
You need to go in car. Public transport, especially on a Sunday, is infrequent.
Take hand-sanitizer. There is hand-washing provided near the sheep barn but better be safe than sorry.
Take pack lunched if you want to eat. The cafe queue was very large.
Despite it being very, very cold and the crowds being quite large early on, we had a lot of fun and will return next year.
For more information about events at Bishop Burton College, please check out their website.
Written by Joanne Brady