AROUND 600 visitors made the most of the sunshine last weekend and flocked to The Royal Agricultural University lambing event at Harnhill Manor Farm near Cirencester.

Families and members of the community were given ample opportunity to get up close to the lambs at the open days.

The annual event is a chance for families and members of the local community to visit the farm and find out what goes on during lambing season.

The farm also laid on tractor and trailer rides. Other activities included the scanning machine used for checking how many lambs are inside a ewe, practice lambing with a lambing simulator and a machinery display.

RAU staff and students, many from the Foundation Degree in Agriculture and Farm Management course, were on hand to answer questions.

RAU farms director Tom Overbury said: “It was a great weekend, helped by the weather.

“We had just about 600 visitors over the two days, twice as many as last year, but then it was snowing last year.

“Students were involved with setting it up and running the two days, and I had some great feedback on how conscientious and helpful they all were."

Visitors even had a chance to witness lambs being born. "On Saturday two ewes gave birth, one with triplets and one with twins and on Sunday again two ewes gave birth, one to a single and one to twins," Tom explained.

"This is not that common, as the ewes normally wait till it goes nice and quiet in the evening," he added.

“This is a great opportunity for people to see what we do on the RAU farms and also to learn about how some of our food is produced.

“We hope to provide something of interest to all age groups.”

RAU Harnhill Manor Farm has lambed around 120 out of 180 of its early lambing flock, with about 250 lambs born so far.

The farm has another flock of 140 ewes to lamb later outside in mid April.

Most of the ewes are North Country Mules.

The shepherd at the farm is Dale Webb.