Spring is definitely in the air at Marie Escott’s smallholding in Shaw, after one of her ewes safely delivered four lambs.

The 78-year-old, who works at nearby Lowden Garden Centre, was surprised when one of her 12 sheep gave birth to the miniature flock on Tuesday last week.

Mrs Escott helped the ewe deliver all four newborns and is now helping out their exhausted mother by offering them bottle feeds.

She said: “I’ve raised sheep for a very long time, but it’s rare to have four lambs to one ewe. If it’s a very large flock you might get it more often, but it’s not very common.

“I wasn’t expecting her to have that many. She was pretty big, but I’d guessed she would have two or three. She had one, then it was about an hour until three came along in one go, one after the other.”