Sheep apparently, can survive buried in snow caves for almost a week, but it’s been a wretched time for farmers in Anglesey and the north in spite of their tenacity. There were dead and lost lambs, and snow scorched grass for the rescued.

 

We were honeymooning when the snow hit Britain, and didn’t know it had till we tried to get the football scores and there weren’t any. We read in awe in an old ferry newspaper about a family near Wrexham that could step over their washing line and had to burn their furniture for heat.

 

SheepThere was no snow in our valley, and our neighbours the badger faced sheep were still chewing on the hay delivered daily by William the farmer. He borrows fields all around here for his tough old variety sheep, and his jumper is as much hay as wool. ‘There’s no money in it’ he says, it’s a labour of love ‘just to keep the old breeds alive’. His daughter farms the modern ones, the fat ones we see everywhere now.

 

Some of the fat ones have arrived in the valley too. Chris thinks they came down from the hill farm, he mended a broken fence up there some weeks ago not realising six ewes were through already. The escapees seem happy enough grazing among the holly and the hazel. They have developed a nonchalant grace and trip one by one along the lane to the scout field where they nibble at the edges and drink at the stream. One of them has given birth to a pair of lambs. They were waiting saintly and sedate at the top of the bank with light in their ears, as I crossed the stream.

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