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Orford Ness: Shepherd celebrates the birth of the first lambs born at nature reserve in living memory

Lambs have been born for the first time on Orford Ness. Photo by Andrew Capell.

Lambs have been born for the first time on Orford Ness. Photo by Andrew Capell.

Andrew Capell

The region’s tourism industry is this weekend predicted to thrive as a result of an extended bank holiday and the timely arrival of spring.

Lambs have been born for the first time on Orford Ness. Photo by Andrew Capell. Lambs have been born for the first time on Orford Ness. Photo by Andrew Capell.

Visitors to Orford Ness will get to see the fluffier side of the nature reserve this weekend, after National Trust Shepherd Andrew Capell welcomed 13 new additions to his flock of 98 sheep.

It is the first time lambs have been born on Orford Ness in living memory.

The flock, whose grazing assists with conservation work at Orford Ness, and helps encourage ground-nesting bird habitats, will see 20 of the ewes become first-time mums this year.

Mr Capell, who delivered his first lamb as a teenager on a hill farm in Wales, has been staying overnight on the Ness, ready to deliver the new arrivals, with more due this Easter weekend.

The flock of rare and native breeds includes White Faced Woodlands, Norfolk Horn, Portland, Manx, Hebridian, Jacobs and some cross breeds too.

Mr Capell’s task of rounding up and penning the flock would be impossible without his canine companion Kite, who is still in training to become a fully-fledged sheepdog.

Now three years old, Kite is one year away from completing his training – with shepherding folklore saying that it takes one year for every leg.

Orford Ness National Nature Reserve will be open for the first weekend of 2014 on Saturday, with the National Trust ferry, Octavia, leaving from Orford Quay from 10am until 2pm. Visitors are advised to arrive early and tickets can be purchased from the National Trust office on the Quay.

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