Lambs at places we care for
Meet some of our lambs
Newborn lambs are one of the earliest signs of spring, emerging on unsteady legs at farms and in fields all across the country. Lambs and sheep are vital in habitat management, because their grazing helps vegetation to thrive.
We look after rare breeds like the Jacob sheep. They're useful for managing the grassland habitats at lots of places we care for, like at Charlecote, Warwickshire.
The Herdwick breed is native to the Lake District, and perfectly adapted to thrive in the tough conditions of the fells. An estimated 40,000 of the world population of Herdwick sheep are on National Trust farms, mostly purchased by Beatrix Potter.
Norfolk horn sheep
Some sheep have intriguing appearances, like the Norfolk Horn. As an adult, they grow spiralled horns.
Learn to identify plants and animals
There’s something satisfying about being able to name a wild flower in a hedgerow, or a bird soaring overhead. All you need to do is pick up a wildlife identification book or download an app, then head outside and practise. You could even start a nature journal to note down all your favourite sightings.
Experience the dawn chorus
Even if you’re not a morning person, the dawn choruses of May and early June are worth waking up for. There’s nothing quite like being alone in the dim dawn light and hearing that first call of the morning, which builds to a loud crescendo just before the sun rises. Try getting into position an hour before sunrise for the best chance of hearing the birds: woodlands are usually the best place, but you could also try the local park or even your back garden.
Create some wild art
Nature has been inspiring artists since the earliest cave drawings, so why not let it inspire you too? Take a sketchbook out on a walk to draw the details and landscapes you discover, or practise taking creative photos with your phone or camera. You could even make art from the natural materials around you like broken twigs, lost feathers and fallen leaves.
Give wildlife a hand
Birds can struggle to find food in early spring, so it’s worth putting a feeder in your garden – they’re easy to make using lard and bird seed. You could also build a pile of rocks and dead wood to make the perfect home for insects, or create some seed balls to throw into your flower beds. Eventually they’ll bloom and bring colour to the garden, as well as making a tasty snack for bees and other insects.