One week old lambs at Down at the Farm, Stoneygate.
One week old lambs at Down at the Farm, Stoneygate.
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THESE little lambs have a real spring in their step despite the cold snap.

Spring has come early at Down At The Farm, with lambs being born weekly and a host of chicks waiting to hatch.

Catherine Weightman of the Houghton farm, which last month won a Countryside Alliance Award, said: “We opened for the new season on Saturday, and although it’s not spring yet we have lots of new life in the form of lambs and chicks.

“The lambs are being delivered daily at the moment, and we have a few orphan lambs which require bottle feeding.”

The centre, which secured zoo status last year, reopened at the weekend after a winter shut-down.

And there is has plenty on the agenda to keep youngsters entertained throughout the school holiday this week.

Catherine added: “February half-term is about starting the new season in a simple way.

“The farmer will play an important role as he can give our visitors first-hand knowledge of his animals.

“They can also watch him care for his sheep, feed them and maybe even deliver a lamb or two.

“Our staff are very passionate about our farm and can show our visitors how to care for our animals on the February Farm Tours, where visitors can literally follow the staff around the farm and meet each animal individually, learn about what they eat and how they live.”

The are also a few new faces at Page Pastures Farm, which has just been awarded a Sunderland Safeguarding certificate.

The Pennywell farm has welcomed a reindeer and an alpaca through its doors, which have both been proving a hit with visitors since arriving.

Jeanette Chapman of the farm, which is behind the former Quarry View School, said: “We had an open day and everyone enjoyed meeting the new animals.”

Each month, the farm is planning on celebrating a different culture.

This month it is focusing on China, and on Saturday will be holding a Chinese parade and other activities between 1pm and 3.30pm.

Twitter: @sunechochief