Farmers have been praised for their efforts to clear roads and help stranded motorists after a mini “Beast from the East” gripped much of the UK.
Across the country, farmer have headed out in force again to clear snow drifts from rural and main road networks.
Drifting snow, bitterly cold winds and icy conditions wreaked havoc in Lincolnshire on Saturday (17 March) and police advised motorists not to travel “unless absolutely necessary”.
Lincolnshire Police said a number of farmers were out in the county clearing roads after heavy snow and freezing temperatures made some areas impassable.
One area was the A607 road around Boothby Graffoe and Waddington, where farmers were called in to clear snow and help clear routes for stranded vehicles.
Further north in Scunthorpe, Lincs FM’s director of programming, Sean Dunderdale, told how one farmer heard a stranded motorist call the radio station to say he had been stuck in his vehicle for two hours.
Ultimate local radio, just now. Guy calls in a panic, stuck for two hours in a snow drift. Tried digging himself out but getting nowhere.
I mention his location on air. Within 10 minutes a tractor arrives to tow him out and he’s heading home.
Our listeners are the best.
— Sean Dunderdale (@seandunderdale) March 18, 2018
The farmer sprang into action to rescue the motorist with his tractor within 10 minutes, Mr Dunderdale tweeted. “Ultimate local radio”, he said.
— Sarah Walton (@SarahWaltonNews) March 18, 2018
‘Don’t forget farmers’
Writing on Twitter, Lincolnshire-based independent agronomist Sean Sparling urged members of the public “not to forget” farmers who had rescued thousands of stranded motorists from the snow.
Newbie farmer Daphne Page, who is expecting, posted a tweet telling how one farmer had cleared the roads of snow near her home in case she went into labour.
“Country neighbours are the best,” she tweeted.
— Daphne (@DaphPage) March 18, 2018
In Yorkshire, a team of community-minded farmers helped council contractor Amey’s Streets Ahead gritting team in Sheffield clear the city’s roads overnight Saturday, the Sheffield Star reported.
Alistair Duncan, an Amey spokesman, said: “We had all of our gritters out from 6pm until 6am on Saturday night. About 20 were out through the night, all with snow ploughs on to clear heavy snow and seven tractors worked with us to move the snow.”
In the Rhymney Valley, south Wales, K J Services posted a video on Twitter of one of its team of tractor drivers out clearing snow from public roads on Sunday (18 March).
— KJ Services (@KJ_Services) March 18, 2018
Heavy snow and high winds left sheep farmers battling tough conditions for early spring lambing.
A number of farmers posted pictures and videos of snow drifting inside sheds, and working in horrendous conditions trying to carry water to new lambs in fields.
— Vikki bowen (@vikki_bowen) March 18, 2018
Farm charity Rabi said farmers struggling to pay for heating should contact them.
Go away #minibeastfromtheeast! We’ve had enough of the snow. Remember, we can help pay for heating if you’re a farmer or farm worker and are struggling financially. Give us a call on 0808 281 9490 pic.twitter.com/ayKJ0QyoKA
— R.A.B.I (@RABIcharity) March 17, 2018
The Met Office has forecast dry weather with sunny spells, feeling less cold on Monday (19 March).
From Tuesday to Thursday (20-23 March), the weather will turn more unsettled, with rain spreading south-eastwards across all areas. It will be windier, with temperatures recovering to nearer normal.
On Twitter, the NFU urged people to show their appreciation for farmers who work year round to produce our food.
— NationalFarmersUnion (@NFUtweets) March 18, 2018