Willows Farm – February Frolics

Willows Farm

We are fans of Willows Farm in our household so it was fantastic when I received an email from them, asking if I’d like to take the kids to a special ‘Lambing’ press event they were holding.

Err……Yes of course I would!!

February Frolics Lambing Event is running throughout the half term and beyond at Willows Farm Village in Hertfordshire, you can come along, learn something about farming lambs and if you’re lucky, share the experience of lambs being born.

Forget ‘ewetube’….. For ewe-r eyes only: ‘Lamb Cam’….. has been set up for round the clock viewing in the barn to broadcast lambing live so even if you’re at home you still might be able to catch something truly magical.

The award-winning family attraction will see hundreds of lambs being born in its Lambing Marquee everyday between 15th and 23rd February 2014.

nnmm

Farmers Andrew and Anna will be on hand to tend to the ewes and to teach visitors about the fascinating lambing process, making February Frolics a fun and educational day out.

Learning about how the farmers work was fascinating. Farmer Andrew is a shepherd, that’s his trade and what he does. He told us that when the sheep go into labour, which can be at any time of day, he has to be on call and comes to ensure each and every one of his sheep gives birth safely. Quite an exhausting time for him!

lambs lambing event

The lambing marquee was such a special place to be, knowing all the sheep were either just about to have their babies or had just given birth.

Willows has been family farmed for the past 80 years. They are passionate about lambing and during this years season, 100 sheep are expected to give birth in 10 days. It was great to hear all about how the lambs are born; they are usually on their feet within minutes apparently, which is to ensure their safety in the wild. Farmer Anna says that she loves speaking to children and explaining how they look after the lambs.

lambs

We learned that sheep usually give birth to twins which is what the farmers are hoping for, as each sheep has two teats so she can easily feed two babies. Sometimes though a sheep will give birth to triplets and because she cannot feed them all she will reject one. If another sheep has only one baby, the farmers have ways to trick her into ‘adopting’ one of the rejected lambs by making her believe it is her baby. If this doesn’t work, the rejected lamb has to be fed manually by the farmers.

lamb bottle feeding

Aww a little lamb being bottle fed. My twins loved this :)

As a rule, visitors to the farm are not allowed to join in with the bottle feeding. The reason for this is the sheer numbers of visitors to the farm, which is something in the region of 20,000 over the half term alone. There simply would not be enough time for everyone to have a turn.

It would also mean lots of hand washing facilities in the marquee which, at the moment is a very tranquil, serene place.

It would also mean lots of hand washing facilities in the marquee which, at the moment is a very tranquil, serene place. They have a moat type feature around the fence where the farmers can walk while they address the visitors, it also acts a buffer so children cannot touch the sheep en masse.

We were treated to a special photo session with the lambs.

We were treated to a special photo session with the lambs.

twin lambs

These two cuties are a set of twins who had recently been born. Farmer Anna said they would name them after my twins which delighted my boys no end! What an honour!

We absolutely LOVED visiting the lambing marquee, it was thrilling and informative, I  would highly recommend everyone go and visit.

But of course, it’s not the only attraction at Willows.

Oh no, there is so much to see and enjoy and we took full advantage on our day out.

After the lambs, we headed over to the indoor play area, because it was a school day and the weather was cold, (although sunny and easily the best day out of weeks of storms and heavy rain), the farm was very quiet. Very unusual but we weren’t complaining. It was utter bliss to enjoy all the facilities without the crowds!

Lots of room to run around freely

Lots of room to run around freely in the soft play.

Lovely home cooked lunch for us, these sausage rolls were to die for! And please check out those welly socks on my twins lol

We enjoyed a lovely lunch, especially laid on for us, these sausage rolls were to die for! My boys were given a goodie bag each which included these cuddly lamb soft toys! And please check out those welly socks on my twins lol

Willows Farm

After lunch we headed over to the Farmyard Barn to see some animals. Usually they would have lots of animals outdoors but in this cold weather they’re all inside nice a warm :). There’s a lovely little ‘petting’ area inside where the children can hold rabbits and guinea pigs, a firm favourite for most kids – apart from mine – who are scared!!

As I mentioned already, the weather on this day was freakishly glorious in amongst a week of rain and storms, the likes of which hasn’t been seen before for most people in this country, so I felt very lucky indeed.

Willows is an amazing outdoor space, set high in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. You can’t help but feel free and tranquil, even with lots going on, and to breath in the gorgeous fresh country air there.

On the merry go round, the fun sand pit complete with diggers and the fab outdoor play area.

We enjoyed the merry go round, the fun sand pit complete with diggers and the fab outdoor play area.

The fun JCB tent where kids can ride around specially designed tracks on a selection of different sized JCB ride-ons. Very popular and inside during the colder months!

The fun JCB tent where kids can ride around specially designed tracks on a selection of different sized JCB ride-ons. Very popular with girls and boys alike, and, more importantly, inside a closed tent during the colder months!

Lastly, just as we were getting ready to leave, we stumbled upon ‘Toddler Town’ – a new for last year play area for the under 5’s which really is an absolute gem. We passed it last time we visited but didn’t get the chance to go inside and boy did we miss out!!

This place is super fantastic!

Think playing at home. Think every make believe play house kids love using their imagination in. Think having yet another area at Willows that will totally engage, fascinate and absorb your child for hours.

It's like a home from home on a much larger scale in terms of toys and play houses. It's a little make believe street with shops and a garage, complete with toys. There's even a conservatory!

It’s like a home from home on a much larger scale in terms of toys and play houses. Set out as a make believe street with shops and a garage, complete with toys. There’s even a pretend conservatory!

We’d already been at Willows most of the day when we entered Toddler Town. We then spent another hour at least in there and even then I had to almost drag my boys out.

Endorsement indeed.

I cannot rave about Willows Farm enough. If you haven’t been, you really don’t know what you’re missing. You MUST go. With so much to do and see for children it’s fantastic value for money, and the Lambing event that’s on right now brings another wonderful dimension and a reminder of what this place is really all about, the animals.

For more information visit www.willowsfarmvillage.com or call 0870 129 9718.

 

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Comments

  1. It looks like so much fun!! We really should go now we have been living locally for 2 years and still not been! Will definitely go this year :D

  2. It looks fabulous, Im always on the look out for places to go with my boy when we come home for the summer. Thanks for sharing you look like you had a blast

  3. Looks like you had so much fun.
    We love it there and go often.

  4. What a fantastic day out, it has all the ingredients to keep children (and adults) happy. If the lambs weren’t fascinating enough then there is the great play areas for the children to enjoy. Thanks for linking up and sharing your outdoor fun with Country Kids.

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