Hill farmers struggling to reach and feed stock in the Sperrins area outside Dungiven say they have been forgotten about. Outside Feeny, in the Banagher area, farmers are being forced to trudge through monster snow drifts to reach their stock.
Iain Canning farms 750 sheep outside the village. He lost 100 ewes in the bad snow of 2010, but says this time it’s nowhere as bad, although he has still lost 10 ewes. Mr. Canning was able to move his sheep to safety before the snow hit last Thursday, but says since then it’s still been tough.
On Tuesday Mr. Canning and neighbouring farmer Graham Moore made their way to Brendan Kelly’s house. The 67-year-old farmer and his family have been snowed in since last Friday, and was hugely appreciative Mr. Canning and Mr Moore were able to bring him supplies.
Today, an operation was getting underway to clear Mr. Kelly’s laneway, filled in with several feet of snow. It means he can get out and tend to stock, and get supplies.
The Journal’s Roe Valley reporter, SHEENA JACKSON went along with Mr. Canning today (Wednesday) to see the conditions he has to cope with. While it may look like a winter wonderland, it’s far from ideal farming conditions.