The Secret Campsite is in the middle of the Sussex countryside, which means that campers with us during the spring get to hear lots of interesting noises throughout the day and night.
At this time of year farmers are often putting the ewes and their young lambs out into the meadows and fields where they will spend the sunny summer days. The flock have often been lambed indoors and then put into the fields near to the lambing sheds.
Once the lambs have mothered up (bonded with their mums, to you and me) it is best to get them away from people and out into the fields.
During the day the ewes can see their lambs but as night falls they can’t see each other so well, and they need to talk with each other by baaing continuously to check that all is well, or to help the lambs locate their mothers. This is why at night you will often hear ewes and lambs baaing and bleating to each other, so that they can pair up. This is why they make such a lot of noise at night time.
Some sheep are lucky enough to lamb outside without the close monitoring of the farmer. These are often older native breeds that need less intervention at lambing time. Often, they will produce single and sometimes smaller lambs.
There is a risk though….
The fox who will happily steal an unattended new born lamb, so the farmer needs to be sure that the ewes can defend their lambs if Mr Todd comes creeping by. This is why single lambing species are better for outdoor lambing as they aren’t busy giving birth to the second lamb, leaving the first born vulnerable to a lightning raid from viejo zorro.
Next time you lie awake in your tent cursing the noise in the meadow neighbouring the campsite, you can empathise with the sheep and thank your lucky stars that the fox will leave you alone.
To find out more about our interesting sheep at our Lewes Campsite, check out further blogs on the subject here.