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Lamb Venture Success at Kirkcolm

CUDDLY LAMBS on a "virtual farm" at Kirkcolm are proving a real hit with countryside lovers worldwide in the run-up to Christmas.

For farmer Robert Parker, who launched the pioneering "adoptafarm" website from his Kirkcolm farm back in March, says customers are flocking to the website to adopt furry "stocking-fillers" for Christmas.

The Free Press reported in March how the 40-year-old had set-up the website in conjunction with his friend Kenny Middleton a website designer from Livingston.

Customers pay as little as £10 to adopt their lamb and via monthly updates on the web they get to see pictures of its development and updates on its health. Customers can also log on at any time and feed and play with their lamb.

Robert, whose Drumdow Farm is home to 500 ewes of the real variety, told the Free Press this week:

"I have been surprised by the number of people who are wanting to adopt a lamb for their friends or loved ones as a Christmas stocking-filler. But I suppose it makes a nice little gift."

Since its launch, adoptafarm has reached a stage where it is recording 23,000 hits a month. Robert said:

"The website has been fairly successful and we now have over 600 members, most of whom seem to be teenagers.

"It takes about an hour of my working day to keep the site up to date, but I think this is going to be good in the long run, websites take time and this will keep expanding I hope.

"The site gives people an idea of how a farm works. Even in rural areas such as Galloway there are a lot of people who do not have a clue about how a farm operates".

But it is not just locals who are cramming the website. Robert is catering virtual lambs for customers from half way around the globe.

"We have members from Australia, four from Manhattan and many throughout Europe and even in the Middle East.

"I have received E-mails in Arabic. But I have not got a clue what they are asking for!" he laughed.

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