Four was the magic number on one north Northumberland farm this Easter, after the birth of lamb quadruplets.
In what has been a difficult lambing season, Alistair and Sue Smith were astounded to discover the bumper yield.
Remarkably, the new arrivals were all safe and healthy.
Lamb quadruplets are rare in sheep and it is even rarer for all four animals to survive.
And the Smiths, of Middle Cawledge Park Farm, were delighted that their nine-year-old grandson, John Graham, was helping out at the site when the four were born.
Sue said: “John spent his Easter holidays helping with what has been a difficult lambing season.
“He was delighted when these quads were born, all safe and healthy.
“We have been at the farm for more than 40 years, and we have had quads before, but it was the first time we have had quads while he was here.”
Two of the lambs have stayed with their mother while the other two have become pets to Alistair and Sue, joining their 20 or so others.
John, who lives in Newcastle, has been helping out at the farm for a number of years, and was lending a hand at Easter with mother, Claire, and father, Des.
Sue added: “He is very capable and he does help out with the lambing.
“He does all the jobs round about.”
Farmer Stoker Frater, who is a former Northumberland Farmers’ Union council delegate, admitted lamb quadruplets are rare.
He said: “It is not uncommon, but it is not common.
“It has been a very difficult lambing year, one of the worst, with the fodder being poor.”