Northern Ireland

Lambing season well under way

Image caption Lambing season has started

Four thousand lambs in three weeks - that's the challenge facing one County Antrim farmer.

Campbell Tweed is lambing 3000 ewes on his 1600 acre hill farm near Larne.

This is the business end of the birth season.

Thirty rams did their work months ago. Now it's up to the ewes.

Image caption Lamb from Northern Ireland is mostly exported to Europe

They're mostly Easycare sheep - a low maintenance breed that doesn't need much help.

Most will lamb without assistance on the hills.

But some lambs will be lost - around 10% - to infection or hypothermia.

If they can get to them in time, Campbell's farm hands will fit them with protective plastic coats to give them a helping hand.

Image caption Most sheep will not need assistance to give birth

These lambs are mostly destined for the dinner table.

Some will be kept back for breeding stock.

But the bulk will be fattened up over the summer and by the end of August will be on the menu in homes and restaurants across Europe to where much of Northern Ireland lamb is exported.

Campbell hopes to get around £70 a head for them.

Watch Conor's report later on BBC Newsline at 18:30 BST on BBC One Northern Ireland.