Life and death and community: farming and the 1947 winter

Official blog of the Met Office news team

At times the weather can be challenging for everyone, but farmers are always on the front line. That was certainly the case 70 years ago in 1947 with the coldest February on record going back to 1910. In a guest blog post Ceris Jones of the National Farmers Union captures memories from NFU members and others involved in farming of that winter and the hardships caused to the farming community.

Just as John Meredith, BBC agricultural news reporter-to-be came into the world in the upstairs bedroom of the family home – because his mother was snowed in – large numbers of sheep were trapped in snowdrifts across the country.

Three million sheep died in the severe winter of 1947. According to Erwyd Howells, hardy weather-beaten shepherds were reduced to tears at the loss of a life’s work and finally beaten by the weather.  And it wasn’t just the snow. …

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