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Long Melford/Felixstowe: Warm weather brings families out to see the spring bulbs at Kentwell while others brave the water at the seaside

PUBLISHED: 14:30 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:30 17 March 2014

Spring has sprung: Visitors to the Kentwell Open Gardens on Sunday in Long Melford.
Harriet, 7, and Eve, 10, Webb from Glemsford in among the stunning daffodils

Spring has sprung: Visitors to the Kentwell Open Gardens on Sunday in Long Melford. Harriet, 7, and Eve, 10, Webb from Glemsford in among the stunning daffodils

Archant

The early spring sunshine brought a welcome boost to tourist attractions at the weekend – and the weather is likely to remain good through this week, say forecasters.

Five year old Oliver and two year old Oscar Branton from Lindsey are lucky to hold 18-hour-old twin Norfolk Horn lambs, the first to be born at Kentwell, once a rare breed. Around 50 ewes are expected to lamb now the season has startedFive year old Oliver and two year old Oscar Branton from Lindsey are lucky to hold 18-hour-old twin Norfolk Horn lambs, the first to be born at Kentwell, once a rare breed. Around 50 ewes are expected to lamb now the season has started

Among those to benefit was Kentwell Hall in Long Melford, which was blessed with pleasant dry conditions for its Spring Bulbs event yesterday.

In contrast to last year’s bitterly disappointing weather, visitors were able to stroll among the last of the snowdrops and enjoy the daffodils in full bloom.

Kentwell’s owner Patrick Phillips said they had planted 75,000 spring bulbs to complement the wide range of seasonal flowers that were already on the site when they bought the 500-year-old building and grounds around 40 years ago.

Mr Phillips said: “Visitors are very weather-conscious and if we have bad weather like we did last Easter, it has a huge impact and numbers really plummet.

Heatwave: crowds flocked to Felixstowe on Sunday to enjoy the soaring temperatures.Charlie Simpson-Hart and his friend George Fayers having fun on the beach.Heatwave: crowds flocked to Felixstowe on Sunday to enjoy the soaring temperatures.Charlie Simpson-Hart and his friend George Fayers having fun on the beach.

“Although warm weather cuts down the lifespan of spring flowers, it certainly makes it more enjoyable for people to come out and see them.”

This weekend, Kentwell also welcomed its first lambs of the year and 11 piglets in time for next weekend’s lambing events.

A year ago, Acton farmer Stephen Cobbald had to move his flock inside after losing 30 lambs from pneumonia due to the awful weather. This year, his new additions are happily grazing in the fields.

Phil Garner, meteorologist at University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest, said the dry weather was expected to continue until Friday but temperatures would tail off slightly towards the end of the week.

Heatwave: crowds flocked to Felixstowe on Sunday to enjoy the soaring temperatures. L-R Piper, Tygwr and Tician Wasley take a dip.Heatwave: crowds flocked to Felixstowe on Sunday to enjoy the soaring temperatures. L-R Piper, Tygwr and Tician Wasley take a dip.

The highest temperature recorded in Suffolk over the weekend was at Santon Downham on Saturday, where it reached 15.5C (59.9F).

Mr Garner said: “The average for this time of year is 9-10C (48-50F) so this weekend we have seen temperatures around five degrees higher than the norm, which has certainly encouraged people to get out and about. We are expecting a top temperature of 14C (57F) again today and although it is expected to stay dry until Friday, temperatures will drop down to between 11-13C (52-55F) from tomorrow.”

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