Lambing time is approaching

It's an exciting time of year for those grazing the Malvern Hills and Commons as lambing time is approaching.  

Some of the sheep on the Hills have been gathered up and scanned last week to find out if the ewes were carrying single lambs or twins.  Each sheep is scanned individually and marked with a spray depending on the number of lambs the ewe is expecting. 

This year's scanning was closely watched by students from Boundless Outdoors, West Malvern, who were excited to get up close to the sheep and find out more about how the animals are looked after on the Hills.

There are more than 800 sheep grazing this landscape, cared for by local people and graziers.

Grazing is an essential part of managing the Malvern Hills and Commons.  Cattle and sheep here for hundreds of years has created an open landscape, home to rare and scarce species.  The livestock also help conserve the ancient archaeology by keeping the monuments free from trees and keep the wide-ranging views open for visitors.

Help to keep the sheep safe

At this time of year, the pregnant sheep are particularly sensitive to chasing.  Sheep worrying by dogs can result in ewes aborting their lambs even if the dog doesn't come into contact with the animal.  Please make sure you put your dog on a lead near livestock to keep the sheep safe.

You can check Stockwatch with a weekly update on the locations of the sheep and cattle in Malvern Hills Trust grazing projects.  Don't forget that much of the Malvern Hills and Commons are registered Common Land and local people have rights to graze animals here.  You should expect to see livestock anywhere at any time.