Big Freeze: Farmers braced for more snow

Farmers across the UK are bracing themselves for more snow and sub-zero conditions as freezing weather continues across the weekend.

Temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees on Saturday (9 January), while strong winds from the East made it feel much colder.

Parts of eastern England saw between 2 and 5cm (0.8-2in) of snow during the day, with forecasters predicting further snowstorms overnight.

The Met Office said the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, the East Midlands, East England and the South East could see the heaviest snow showers on Sunday (10 January).

Severe weather warnings have been issued for much of the East Midlands, parts of Wales and the South East.

More than 10 cm of snow is expected in some regions, with temperatures predicted to be around freezing.

Farmers across the country have continued to report of difficulties in getting to feed livestock, while the government’s decision to cut road-gritting by a quarter could further hit milk collections as tankers struggle to get to farms.

Writing on Twitter, Kent sheep farmer SheepishSam said he feared he would struggle to feed his animals after snow buried the roads on Saturday.

BeechenhillFarm said snow had been falling on the Peak District all day, making their milking parlour very slippery.

Meanwhile Lancashire diary farmer Cyberdoyle said her farm hadn’t seen any snow on Saturday, but temperatures had reached -7 degrees.

Despite a thick layer of ice the milk tanker made it to the farm, but they had been forced to cart water to the animals, she added.

DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn praised farmers who had sprung to action to clear snow from roads and help neighbours who were struggling in the freezing conditions.

“As well as being the custodians of our countryside farmers have shown over the last few days that they are also an extra emergency service,” he said

“They deserve a lot of thanks for helping their communities by keeping roads passable.”


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