Spare a thought for farmers

Date: Monday 12th March 2018

LIFE in the Eden Valley is returning to normal following one of the most extreme weather events in living memory.

Feet-deep snow drifts and storm force winds brought parts of the district to a standstill, with communities cut off and emergency services at full stretch.

And at the sharp end of the extreme weather conditions have been the district’s farmers, many of whom lost stock, with animals unable to survive the deep snow and plunging temperatures.

Reports are beginning to emerge of farmers who have lost many sheep and even some cattle, with the total numbers of livestock killed still unclear.

Days and nights toiling in freezing, wind-blasted conditions, trying to save animals that have been carefully raised and tended, takes a physical and mental toll.

One farmer spoke this week of feeling “broken” after working virtually round the clock for four days, trying to keep his cattle safe as the weather did its worst.

Another recalled the anxiety and helplessness of knowing sheep were in trouble and being unable to get to them.

Agricultural work can be tough at the best of times, and at the worst of times it can be heartbreaking.

So, as the snows melt away, spare a thought for farming families, whose lives and livelihoods are so closely tied to the powerful and sometimes destructive forces of nature.