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Suffolk’s farmers spring into action - rescuing drivers and clearing roads

PUBLISHED: 16:24 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 01 March 2018

Kenny Crane has been clearing the roads and helping people in need.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Kenny Crane has been clearing the roads and helping people in need. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Suffolk’s farmers have sprung into action during the cold snap – heading out in force to help clear snow drifts from the county’s rural roads.

Suffolk highways has 114 farmers on call, ready to help out when the weather gets severe, with more than 70 joining yesterday’s efforts to keep the motorists moving – and many more doing so off their own back.

Farmer Kenny Crane was clearing the roads near Otley in his John Deere tractor when he was called to rescue a nurse stuck in thick snow.

“She had blood samples in her car and needed to get onto the A12 heading towards Colchester Hospital,” he said. “Her car was completely stuck, it was going nowhere. There was nowhere to go forward with her so I towed her all the way back to the B1078 at Clopton.”

Mr Crane said it was a huge effort keeping the roads clear as snow kept being blown back due to the strong winds.

Dan Kiddy next to some of the snow drifts near Wickham Market.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDan Kiddy next to some of the snow drifts near Wickham Market. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “We clear the road and then go back one or two hours later and it has blown back into the road.”

He said his trusty tractor was just the perfect vehicle for the extreme conditions.

“It has big, wide tyres – it’s just the thing for the job.”

Dan Kiddy, of Kerr Farms, has been out clearing the roads too.

Dan Kiddy next to some of the snow drifts near Wickham Market.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDan Kiddy next to some of the snow drifts near Wickham Market. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “Without us doing this the village would be in trouble really, especially for the elderly, so we are keeping them clear even though we haven’t been contacted by Suffolk Highways.”

Farmer David Nunn, from Stowupland, started at 4.30am yesterday as gusts blew snow drifts onto the roads.

“The biggest problem is not the heavy snow, it is the snow we have got already that the wind is blowing around.

“Anywhere where the banks are higher than the road, it just blows back once we’ve cleared it.

Farmer David Nunn clearing snow between Mendlesham and StowlandFarmer David Nunn clearing snow between Mendlesham and Stowland

“It is an all day job.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Highways, said: “A huge thank you goes to the Suffolk Farmers who have been in a position to be able to help us clear snow today.

“We have contacted approximately 114 registered farmers across the county and have been able to mobilise over 70 to help clear snow in rural areas.

“We have this agreement with local farmers so that when the need calls for it, we can make use of their expertise and machinery to help our teams keep the network safe and moving.”

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