This atmospheric picture perfectly captures the joy of spring! Four lambs pictured with their ewes. It was captured in Northumbria by photographer Emma Rothera. Unfortunately we're not sure of the particular breed of these sheep.
Along with daffodils, newborn lambs are one of the definitive and joyous symbols for the end of winter, and this of one of the best images of lambs we've ever seen. No wonder it's so popular!
Sheep have their lambs at the end of winter or early spring as they need to eat lots of grass to make milk to feed their offspring. Ewes generally give birth to one or two lambs indoors and need to start feeding within 20 minutes of birth.
They will latch onto the ewes teat to get the first milk (colostrum) which is full of antibodies and nutrients. Once the lambs are feeding well, they move outdoors to the field along with the ewes.
Unfortunately, during the lambing season not all lambs and ewes will survive. Orphan lambs will be offered to other ewes for adoption by the farmer.
Adoption can be achieved in two ways; birthing fluid from a new born lamb can be applied to the adoptive lamb so the ewe thinks it is her own. Or, if a lamb has died, skin can be taken and tied to the adoptive lamb so that the mother will recognise it as her own.