Ask anybody that lives around Winchester, Colden Common and Fair Oak way, and they’ll tell you that “nothing beats that countryside smell.” Personally, I could disagree with that one, but I do have to admit that I am one for getting out and about!
Being a teenager myself, I am aware of how easy it may be to become oblivious to natural and beautiful things that are happening around me however Lambing Day at Sparsholt College Hampshire based in Sparsholt, really opened up my eyes to something pretty extraordinary.
You couldhave quite as easily made a day of it; however I managed to get there with my family of 5 at around 2:00pm. I didn’t know much about Sparsholt before I visited. I was aware that it was a Farming College but knew very little about what the college was actually like. But wow! I don’t think you can physically get any more “hands on” then taking a selfie with a cow!
A family fun day out
There was an incredible amount to do; from pony riding to wellie wanging and agricultural machinery displays. When my hectic family and I rocked up, we were greeted warmly by the staff, asked to pay a small fee and then directed to the car park. Once we had pulled on all our wellies, we set off down to the tractor-trailer rides which my 2 year old brother absolutely adored!
Despite my hair doubling in volume by the time we’d arrived at the farm, it was an experience that was fantastic for kids and I am really glad I got the chance to do it. From the moment you get off the trailer, you are welcomed by that “lovely countryside smell,” (yum!) There were activities everywhere and I was completely over-powered by smells, noises and a general cheerful vibe from everybody. If there was ever a definition of a “family day out,” believe me this was it! My brother’s ears pricked up the second he heard a distance “moooo” and we were off.
I’m not joking when I say you are literally up close with the animals.
One cow tried to eat one woman’s hair…
Once we had got covered in cow slop (I don’t know how else to refer to it,) I was greeted by a smell that was much different from the others. While pondering about what it was, my sister suddenly screamed “fudgeeeeee” and sprinted towards a stool. Just as excited as her, I managed to bribe my mum into giving us some money and we bought some homemade fudge that seemed to disappear within minutes (whoops…)
After walking past a pile of manure…. we suddenly heard distance “Baaaaing” and found what we originally came to see. Personally, I’m not really into animals that much, but these lambs were the cutest things I had ever seen, and they were everywhere! A Shepherd was on a microphone answering to a woman dressed as a sheep who was getting questions off the children about what lambing was, how many lambs they’d had that day and how long the ewes were pregnant for etc… I can’t lie when I say that I was seriously contemplating a way of taking one of these lambs home with me.
Ironically, I was then greeted by a mixture of smells that I was way more familiar with… meat? When we’d eventually managed to steer my sister away from the lambs, we found the catering building. This building was also full of tractors and other farming machinery which my brother was in awe by (I was more interested in the food.) They were selling all the food you could want from lentil soup to hot dogs and carveries.
After we’d looked around, we walked out into an absolute array of activities. There was archery, pony rides, a young farmers stand, tug of war and wellie wanging (which proved to be very funny to watch.) Then came the stables filled with numerous amounts of horses as well as a farrier display. There were talks happening all day to stop anybody from running out of things to see and do.
It was a fantastic day out, and I am 100% going next year. I recommend it highly to families that have a range of different ages as I feel that there is genuinely something for everybody to enjoy at Sparsholt lambing days!
Blog written by Megan Drake