Today we visited a farm that is a popular school holiday destination. It has the perfect combination of animals and children’s entertainment with rides, shows and adventure trails. However, when we dared to venture beyond the indoor heated soft-play area we witnessed a desolate area with hardly any children and animals shivering in shelters. Normally the area is packed with children, buggies and parents queuing up for coffee and cake. The overflow car park has never been so empty.
We braved the ‘Big Red Tractor Ride’ with one other parent and child (the trailer usually takes about 20 people) and the driver was cursing the weather, “grass doesn’t grow unless its at least 11 degrees. The lambs should be out in the fields but they are shivering under heat lamps in the barns and the goats and their kids are all in the barn too.” My baby son was content to see the back of the new Massey Ferguson tractor used in the Olympics opening ceremony as we trundled along. The farm looked more like a scene in February rather than April.
Agricultural farming is also suffering. The last time I saw a tractor working by flood-light in the field behind us was in August – so desperate are they to get ploughing and cultivating. My husband too is struggling because the ground is still too wet to gain access to people’s gardens for tree work. In short I have sympathy for anyone who relies on the weather to earn a living in the UK.
For most of us the weather is just a bit inconvenient in having to layer up like a seasoned skier in April. But for others their living depends upon it.
Lets hope this year’s wonky weather is a freak occurrence rather than a regular one for the sake of our farmers.
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