Thousands of animals feared dead as snow hits lambing season

Farmers fear that thousands of sheep and cattle have died in the heavy spring snow that's hit the UK.

Northern Ireland farmer Catherine Crawford said: "There are hundreds of farmers who have sheep buried."

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) in Scotland say that the total number of animals who've been affected won't be known until the snow melted.

The NFU said hundreds of animals were lost in England and Wales, with Cumbria and Shropshire worst hit.

Farmers are bringing their sheep inside where they can - watch the clip of Durham farmer Ann Darlington describe how she's caring for her sheep in the cold weather.

Army helicopter called in to help

Right now it's lambing season - when sheep give birth to their lambs, often outdoors. It's usually much warmer - and the lambs are too young to cope with this level of cold.

An Army helicopter has been used will be used to get food to snowbound animals trapped in Northern Ireland.

It's thought up to 10,000 animals have been buried there beneath snowdrifts as much as six metres high.

Campbell Tweed, a farmer from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, said some of his sheep were getting their first feed in four days.

"Road conditions are just incredibly bad. There's places where the snow at the side of the road is higher than the vehicles."

There were also fears of "catastrophic losses," with thousands of animals buried, on the Isle of Man. According to Isle of Man weather experts, the island's recent snowfall was the heaviest recorded since 1963.

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