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Hundreds flock to Felbrigg for annual lambing open days

PUBLISHED: 16:31 09 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:36 09 April 2017

Four-year-old Molly Young, whose grandparents Graham and Wendy are expecting the arrival of more than 200 lambs at their farm in the grounds of Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer. Picture: Karen Bethell

Four-year-old Molly Young, whose grandparents Graham and Wendy are expecting the arrival of more than 200 lambs at their farm in the grounds of Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer. Picture: Karen Bethell

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Spring visitors in their hundreds flocked to see newborn lambs this weekend, at a series of open days held at Felbrigg Hall Farm, near Cromer.

Graham and Wendy Williams with grandchildren Molly, Neve and Toby. Helped by friends and family, the couple are hosting a series of lambing open days over the Easter weekend. Picture: Karen BethellGraham and Wendy Williams with grandchildren Molly, Neve and Toby. Helped by friends and family, the couple are hosting a series of lambing open days over the Easter weekend. Picture: Karen Bethell

Part of the National Trust’s Felbrigg estate, the 600-acre farm has been home to tenant Graham Williams and his wife Wendy since 1989.

Four-year-old Felix Hubbard has a go at cranking up a vintage tractor at a lambing day held at Felbrigg Hall Farm, near Cromer. Picture: Karen BethellFour-year-old Felix Hubbard has a go at cranking up a vintage tractor at a lambing day held at Felbrigg Hall Farm, near Cromer. Picture: Karen Bethell

The couple, who are expecting upwards of 300 lambs and nearly 50 calves to be born over the next couple of weeks, take on the majority of work themselves.

Two-year-old Arwen Hubbard has a sit on a vintage tractor at a lambing day held at Felbrigg Hall Farm, near Cromer. Picture: Karen BethellTwo-year-old Arwen Hubbard has a sit on a vintage tractor at a lambing day held at Felbrigg Hall Farm, near Cromer. Picture: Karen Bethell

Lambing, which is their busiest time of year, will see Mr Williams work “full on” from 6am to 8pm, seven days a week.

A Felbrigg Hall Farm ewe welcomes her newborn lamb into the world. Picture: Karen BethellA Felbrigg Hall Farm ewe welcomes her newborn lamb into the world. Picture: Karen Bethell

“Later in the evening, it is just a case of when I’m needed,” he explained. “But Wendy is in charge of the lambing, so she’ll be up at 3am and in the middle of the night if she has to.”

Mr and Mrs Williams, whose four children help with open days, have recently had CCTV installed, which means they can keep an eye on ewes about to give birth.

“It is brilliant as you can check what is happening without getting all your togs on,” Mr Williams said.

“It is hard work and you couldn’t do it if you weren’t committed, but the open days are nice as I get to talk to people, rather than something that says “baa”.”

Visitors to the lambing weekends will often get to see Mrs Williams in action, caring for ewes as their lambs are born and helping them to bond with their young.

Things occasionally do not run smoothly however, and the farm has a ‘hospital wing’, where families can see lambs with problems ranging from low birth weight to difficulties causes by multiple births.

“We are a working farm and people see the not so nice side as well as the nice side, but one of the things we pride ourselves on is having lots of knowledgeable people for our visitors to talk to,” Mr Williams said.

Other attractions at the lambing days, which run again over the Easter weekend, include cows and calves, vintage tractors, goats and a pig named Alby.

Visitors can also have a go at milking Ermintrude, the lifesize model cow, or have a cuddle with day old chicks and newborn lambs.

Lambing days at Felbrigg Hall Farm run daily from Friday to Easter Monday from 10.30am-4.30pm. Admission prices are £6 adults, Under 12s £4.

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