Extended movement restrictions and the onset of harsh weather have combined to increase the anguish of farmers across the north of England desperate to move stock to market or fresh pastures.

Farmers across the region are having to make important decisions without knowledge of what market demand there will be when restrictions are eased. Several dealers say they have plenty of orders for running lambs, but admit that they do not know how long their clients will wait.

While hill sheep producers attempt to salvage something from this year those with hill-bred suckled calves – many that were booked in to be sold at the major specialist sales in October – also face an uncertain future.