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All ewe need on the Web

A GLOUCESTERSHIRE agricultural college has come up with the most original way of making sure students don't miss the spring time ritual of lambing - baa none.

Hartbury college will install portable "lamb-cams" to keep a round-the-clock watch on expectant ewes so that students - and members of the public - wool be able to log on to the college's website to share the experience.

The college's online productions - which were awarded pound;25,000 under the Further Education Development Agency's Innovative ICT scheme - has had people flocking to their site.

An equestrian event held at the cllege for 200 young riders from 18 countries and broadcast on their Internet site registered 100,000 hits in six days.

Vice-principal Kevin Hamblin said the webcasts, which might also include foaling and veterinary operations, would benefit disabled students as farm buildings do not always have suitable access and reduce the stress on animals giving birth while surrounded by curious students.

"People are fascinated by it and this is one way of getting them into the scenario without having to get up at 3am and going to stand in the middle of a field."

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