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Thousands flock to see ewe arrivals at Norfolk agricultural college

PUBLISHED: 06:16 03 March 2014

Lambing day at Easton College. Photo: Bill Smith

Lambing day at Easton College. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

A college lambing weekend set an ewe record as thousands of people flocked to the event to find out more about the new arrivals and their surroundings.

Three-year-old Finlay Buck with his mother Nichola at Easton College lambing day. Photo: Bill SmithThree-year-old Finlay Buck with his mother Nichola at Easton College lambing day. Photo: Bill Smith

The Easton campus of Easton and Otley College, near to the Costessey-based Norfolk Showground welcomed families and potential new students to the two-day farming spectacular.

Record numbers of more than 3,000 people swept through the gates over the weekend hoping to catch a glimpse of the college’s newest additions some of which were just days, hours and even minutes old.

Some families were thrilled to see new lambs being born - there was eight new arrivals yesterday morning alone - while there was also a chance to take a look at turkey chicks being hatched on site too.

David Howlett, farm manager, said this year’s lambing weekend event had proved “very popular”. He said: “It’s been brilliant. We’ve had people of all ages - it’s a good family day out.”

Lambing day at Easton College. Photo: Bill SmithLambing day at Easton College. Photo: Bill Smith

Other attractions included equine displays, tractor rides, bouncy castles, children’s crafts while both days included information, advice and guidance for students contemplating studying on a course at the colleges two campuses based in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Katie Harrison, 28, who attended the event yesterday with her sister Inka, five, from Hellesdon, said: “It gets more and more popular every year. We enjoy seeing all the animals. The tractor ride was good. Really fun.”

Joe Richards, 46, from Wymondham who attended the event for the first time yesterday with his wife Liz, 47, and children Niamh, 10, and Caitlin, 13, said: “The queues are rather long but there’s plenty to see.”

Also attending the event for the first time was Rebecca Clarke-Walsh, 33, who lives north of Norwich, and daughters Freya, five and Bonnie, one.

She said: “It’s a lovely opportunity to go and see something so special. The children loved it.”

Freya said: “I liked seeing the chicks, the cows and the lambs. I liked playing in the straw as well.”

Martyn Davey, director of land-based curriculum at the college, said the whole weekend was aimed at giving youngsters and their families the opportunity of getting a first-hand glimpse of farming and all the courses that the college teaches.

He said: “As a college we are keen to promote farming and the college as a whole to people of all ages. This relaxed event always helps raise our profile in a positive way and we were thrilled with the turn out

“This event appears to attract more and more people every year and I would like to thank all the staff and students who made this occasion such a success. A big thanks also to all the visitors who came along to find out what we are all about.”

All money raised goes to support the farm and purchase items that help improve the quality of life of animals at Easton and Otley.

In previous years the college raised enough cash to enable them to acquire new pens for calves and put up a shelter for the sheep.

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