Lambing season springs into action – in spite of coronavirus lockdown

Martina Wisniewska and Iona Cooper Smith with two of the lambs born recently at Suffolk Rural Pictu

Martina Wisniewska and Iona Cooper Smith with two of the lambs born recently at Suffolk Rural Picture: JOHN NICE - Credit: Archant

The lambing season has begun at Suffolk Rural in Otley – but this year minus the crowds.

With the coronavirus lockdown in force, an annual lambing day – a popular event with families – has been postponed until next year. It was due to take place on Sunday, March 29.

The college was also set to host a visit from Witnesham Primary School ahead of this event. Instead, it will be looking to invite it and other schools back when things return to normal.

MORE – Green-fingered students get chance to grow plants for the professionalsDespite the shut-down, farming life at Suffolk Rural continues, with shepherd Ben Short overseeing day-to-day management of the lambing season.

Prior to the UK lockdown, 17 year old Iona Cooper Smith helped oversee the delivery of some new arrivals.

She was also set to play a role in proceedings as part of a push to encourage more young people to consider careers in farming but is looking ahead to getting involved in other events in the future.

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“It’s a shame (to postpone) as this would have been a great experience for all of us – but it’s completely understandable,” she said.

“The news just means that we will come back bigger and better in 2021. We will be looking to promote agriculture to families and young people during other events in the future and we will keep people updated of news relating to farming online.”

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She added: “People and farming must stay strong, support each other and we will get through this.”

Martina Wisniewska, 19, of Felixstowe, is on a level three agricultural course at Otley and was also set to be involved in lambing.

“I studied equine studies but switched to farming when I played a part in helping out at last year’s lambing event,” she said.

“I enjoyed it so much that I decided to study agriculture and I have no regrets. We all have to be sensible at the moment in terms of isolation. However, I can’t wait to get back to the farm once the country gets through this.”

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