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Lambs arrive early after ram raid at Blenheim
10:40am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
A RAM that raided a field of ewes has fathered Blenheim Palace’s first lambs of the year.
The ram ran down a bank and jumped a three-foot fence to get into the field at the Woodstock stately home last July.
To the surprise of shepherds, three New Zealand Romney lambs were then born in December.
It is the first time the palace has had lambs born so early and shepherds plan to upgrade the field’s security to stop it happening again.
Blenheim Palace is expecting around 2,700 new lambs in April and at its peak the palace is home to 4,500 sheep.
Head shepherd Spencer Powell said: “I saw the ram in there and went to get him out, but I didn’t think he’d had time to do anything and I did not expect the ewes to be in season. It was a bit of a surprise to us when we found the lambs in December.”
One of the lambs was born on December 29 and twins were then born on New Year’s Eve.
Mr Powell, 57, who has been at Blenheim Palace for 24 years, said he planned to install a bar to raise the fence by another foot.
Blankets made from the wool of the New Zealand Romney sheep are sold at the palace’s East Courtyard shop. Picture: OX57013 David Fleming