THERE were five causes to smile for a local farmer among the doom and gloom caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

Sarah Ridley, who farms at Mickley Moor Farm, near Prudhoe, was delighted with quintuplet lambs from one ewe.

Sarah said: “We have 350 sheep to lamb, most are Llyen sheep, which are a Welsh breed, but we also have a handful of mules and Herdwicks, which are native to the Lake District, Cumbria.

“We are lucky enough to have really good quality grass and the two make for a great combination.”

Sarah, whose husband’s family own the land, added: “I was really shocked as the mother wasn’t a particularly well ewe, but I was able to pull out five brilliantly sized lambs, all of which were alive.

“We have had two sheep in the past to have had six lambs, but I just didn’t expect it. It’s absolutely amazing. We have really started lambing with a bang.”

The pint-sized sheep have since been adopted by other sheep in need of babies.

Sarah explains: “The five aren’t together anymore. We only ever want sheep to have two lambs, so we even them all out. Besides, the one little ewe was slightly outnumbered by four brothers.”

And it would seem this is just the beginning.

The farm has since welcomed another set of quintuplets, eight sets of triplets and a set of twins.

Meanwhile, a Herdwick delivered a ewe lamb, which is set to be added to breeding flock, praised for its robust health and ability to live solely of forage.

Sarah hopes that her lambing success will bring as much joy to others as it has to her and her family.

She said: “I think people will be really pleased to see this, especially when they are stuck indoors. I hope it makes people smile. I sent it to my mum in Yorkshire and she has shown everybody.

"It is a particularly difficult time for farmers at the moment. It is hard enough on a good year, but we will plan to carry on,whilst adhering to government guidelines.”