Lambing season in the Kent Downs

Two lambs bounding through a grass field

Family Fun tagsFarming & Animals tags

19th March 2024

Seeing cute bounding lambs in the field is a welcome sign that spring is arriving. But what makes lambing season in the Kent Downs so special?

What is lambing season?

Lambing season is an eagerly anticipated time in the agricultural calendar! But what is it? Simply put, lambing season is the period where female sheep (ewes) give birth to lambs. In fact, in the UK, 16 million ewes give birth every year!

The season runs from November to May, peaking around February to March. Although the timing can vary slightly depending on factors such as the breed of the sheep and even the local weather conditions. This time of year is crucial for farmers, as it sets the tone for the success of their flocks and the overall health of the livestock.

Sheep and lambs in a field as the sunsets behind

Farmers must meticulously prepare for lambing season, and they work tirelessly for the duration! Ewes are often brought into sheltered areas or barns to give birth in a more controlled environment. Regular monitoring is essential, especially during the night, as many prefer to give birth in the quiet hours. While most give birth without assistance, there are times when intervention is necessary. Farmers keep a close eye on the ewes in labour and are ready to step in to help if a lamb is having difficulty being born.

The heart-warming bond between ewes and their lambs is the most captivating aspect of lambing season. Ewes are attentive mothers, ensuring their offspring get the necessary care, warmth, and nourishment. Lambs are often up and about within hours of birth, exploring their new surroundings under the watchful eye of their mothers.

The best places to see lambs in and around the Kent Downs

With farmland covering over 70% of the land in the Kent Downs, lambing is a huge event here in spring. Read on to discover where you can experience the joys of lambing in the Downs this year.

1. Broadlees Farm, Dover

Open: Friday 29th March – Sunday 14th April

This family-run farm is located just outside Dover on the chalk grassland above the iconic White Cliffs. They open once a year for lambing season, offering you the chance to learn about lambing in a fun way. You may even get to see a one being born!

Adults £6, children/senior citizens £5

Booking not necessary.

2. Kent Life, Maidstone

Open: Friday 29th March to Sunday 14th April

Meet the new arrivals in the farmyard this spring! Visit the lambing shed for bottle feeding demonstrations running throughout the day. During the Easter holidays, there is also the chance to groom a pony, feed the alpacas and watch an owl flying demonstration.

Adults and children £12.50

Booking recommended as tickets for events can sell out in advance.

3. Frampton Farm, Dover

Open: Saturday 30th March to Sunday 14th April

This small family farm between Folkestone and Dover is offering a unique lambing experience this spring. Book for a group of six and enjoy a one-hour private session with the lambs and ewes in the barn. You’ll have an exclusive opportunity to cuddle the lambs, take your own photos and meet some of the other farm animals too!

Group of six £60

Booking essential, limited availability.

4. Hadlow College, Tonbridge

Open Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st April

Hadlow College, located just outside the Kent Downs National Landscape, is hosting a weekend lambing event this April. Along with celebrating the arrival of the new lambs, there will be talks and demonstrations, food and drink stalls, archery, birds of prey displays and tractor trailer rides.

Adults £12, children/concessions £8

Booking essential.

5. Little Fant Farm, Maidstone

Open: March 18th to March 22nd

Book a Little Farmers Club session for an hour of farm-themed activities at this small working farm in the Medway Valley. Led by a Little Farmer Club leader, your budding young farmer will get to explore the farm, meet the adorable lambs, and even craft their handmade lamb to take home.

Adults £4, children £10

Booking required.

Respect, protect, enjoy

We’re huge advocates for exploring the Kent Downs National Landscape, but we ask that everyone takes care to protect our countryside and the wildlife that inhabits it. Firstly, always respect wildlife by keeping a safe distance and avoiding disturbances, especially during breeding seasons. Spring is a key time for livestock, such as lambs, as well as ground nesting birds and rare plants like orchids. We ask that you keep to the path to avoid trampling delicate vegetation and keep dogs on a short lead, especially around livestock. Even the most well-behaved dogs can unintentionally disturb or harm these animals if allowed to roam freely.

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