The Blenheim Estate is welcoming nearly 200 new lambs to its flock of sheep.

The estate in Woodstock surrounds Blenheim Palace which is the only non-royal palace in the UK.

These are the first lambs from the Pedigree Hampshire Down rams that were introduced last September.

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A total of 190 lambs are expected, with 100 already having been born.

The new lambs are more resistant to worms, which means the estate can reduce its use of chemicals and medical interventions.

It is expected to take five years to fully transition the flock of 1,000 Scotch Mills sheep.

Farm manager Tom Locke said: “We will be introducing new breeds to the flock over the coming years, so our sheep will start to look very different.

Oxford Mail: The Blenheim Estate is welcoming new lambs to their flockThe Blenheim Estate is welcoming new lambs to their flock (Image: Pete Seaward)

“The Hampshire Down rams will dominate as they will make the sheep healthier.

“We are already Red Tractor certified, but we want to move towards more organic produce, so this is a major step on that journey.”

The sheep at the Blenheim Estate lamb later than many other farms who do so in March and April.

This is because they are reared entirely on grass.

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A project is currently under way at the Blenheim Estate to reseed the 190 acres of parkland.

Mr Locke explained that this would mean more nutritious and healthy grazing for the sheep, as well as a better environment for birds and insects with an increase in wildflowers.

Grazing is also being transformed with a move to mob grazing being introduced across the estate.

Under this scheme, the sheep will be moved to new pasture every five days.

This practice is designed to emulate how animals flock and feed in the wild and at the same time help to enrich soil quality.

The changes are part of a wider plan by Blenheim Estate to move towards more sustainable farming practices.

It is one of a range of measures being introduced to support its ambition to deliver carbon negative land management within 10 years.