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It’s lambing time at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus

It’s lambing time at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus  
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Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus is busy preparing for Lambing weekend.

270 ewes from the college's Kirkley Hall and Carlcroft flocks will lamb from now until the weekend so there will be plenty of new-born lambs marking the start of spring to see.

Kirkley Hall Farm is a seventeenth century estate of 190 acres located in Ponteland, just outside of Newcastle. Over 700 students are currently studying a range of subjects at the land-based campus and this weekend provides valuable hands-on experience to agriculture students that are the next generation of farmers.

John Charlton, Farm Manager at the college, said: "We have a flock of 270 predominantly mule ewes at Kirkley as well as 100 Scottish Blackface ewes drafted down from our Carlcroft farm. 

"The Blackface ewes are crossed with a blue faced Leicester to produce our mule ewes, which are in turn crossed with Suffolk and Texel rams to produce a quality lamb.  Carlcroft up in the Coquet Valley farms 750 Scottish Blackface ewes with a further 300 replacement ewe lambs kept each year."

John said: "We are a real working farm so students get experience of both hill and lowland sheep as well as learning about the business side of things too."

The college's Kirkley Hall campus also offers courses in horticulture, arboriculture, veterinary nursing, equine and outdoor activity leadership with dedicated facilities including an outdoor activity centre with high ropes and zip wire and 1,330 square metres of commercial greenhouses and vast gardens. 

A family open day is on over the weekend of Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 March when there will also be tours of Kirkley Hall zoological gardens available where visitors will be able to meet the lambs, if lucky see live lambing and of course see our extensive animal collection of over 130 species including lemurs, marmosets, meerkats, reindeer and wallabies to name but a few.

For details of admission and opening times visit www.kirkleyhallzoo.co.uk. For details of courses available at Northumberland College visit www.northumberland.ac.uk.