A LAKE District farm once owned by Beatrix Potter has been given three pleasant surprises during lambing season.

All the ewes that had been in with tups at Yew Tree Farm, near Coniston, became pregnant, while the farm welcomed just its third set of Herdwick triplets in 18 years.

Jo McGrath, who helps run the site with husband Jon Watson, also said a higher percentage of births than was usual had been to twins.

Mrs McGrath said last summer had clearly 'been really good - there's obviously a lot of nutrition in the grass'.

One of the Herdwick triplets has been 'adopted' by another ewe who had lost her lamb.

"The triplets' mum was a first-time mum and, as the lambs got older and stronger, they would have started to damage her udders as three of them clambered to feed from two teats," said Mrs McGrath.

"The now-single lamb has two teats all to himself and is mighty pleased with that!

NEWBORNS: The triplets at Yew Tree Farm

NEWBORNS: The triplets at Yew Tree Farm

"Mum hasn’t noticed one lamb is missing either, and the ewe who lost her baby magically has it back.

“They’re all really happy, they’re all really healthy, it’s been a really good outcome, we’re not having to bottle feed anything.”

The farm has a flock of just under 1,000 Herdwicks, although only some are involved in lambing each year.

Mrs McGrath estimated that, so far, the farm had welcomed around 140 Herdwick lambs, with about 80 of these comprising of twins.

Yew Tree offers a popular 'Herdwick experience', giving people the opportunity to meet and learn more about the hardy, iconic sheep, which Beatrix Potter was committed to conserving.