Coniston Beatrix Potter farm welcomes 'rare' triplet lambs

Image source, Jenny McGrath
Image caption,
Jo McGrath said it was rare to get Herdwick triplets

A Lake District farm has welcomed the birth of a "rare" set of triplet lambs for only the third time in 18 years.

The Herdwick lambs have been born at Yew Tree farm near Coniston, which was once owned by author Beatrix Potter.

Farmer Jo McGrath said it was unusual for Herdwicks, which are "still practically wild genetically", to have more than one lamb at a time.

But last year's good weather has meant a bumper crop of twins this spring, she said.

Multiple births would leave a wild sheep "vulnerable" and at risk from predators, she said, as well as meaning a ewe has more offspring to feed.

'Little help'

But last year's good weather meant the flock was able to eat well on increased crops and build their bodies up, sending signals that they could cope with more than one lamb.

"The weather means they have not had much to do but doss around eating good grass," Mrs McGrath said.

She added the new lambs and their mother are all doing well, although the ewe "will need a little help from us" to keep them well fed.

So far this year the almost 1,000-strong flock has given birth to about 100 lambs, including 25 sets of twins, she said.

The farm was one of those bought by Beatrix Potter in the 1930s to be protected from redevelopment.

The Peter Rabbit creator later sold it to the National Trust.

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