Wet weather ‘devastating’ for lambing North-east farmers


HEAVY rainfall is having a “devastating” impact on lambing and crops, farmers have warned.

Provisional Met Office figures for winter 2024 show higher than average rainfall across the UK, particularly in the North-east of Scotland.

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Speaking to BBC Scotland, one farmer, Nicola Wordie, of Aberdeenshire, said a lot of lambs were going to be lost due to the weather.

If lambs do not have dry ground to lie on, hypothermia often affects newborns and can be fatal.

“Unfortunately I would love to keep them all inside and protect them from this weather, but we don’t physically have the space,” she said.

“We are very fortunate to have extra (indoor shed) space this year. How we would have managed previously I don’t know.

“But we are able to keep some of them in for slightly longer. But unfortunately the strongest have to go outside.”

According to the Met Office the UK provisionally recorded 445.8mm of rainfall this winter – which is 129% of the 1991-2020 average and the eighth wettest winter. Its rainfall map shows that much of North-east was particularly wet, with Moray, Aberdeenshire and Angus all hit with rainfall well above the seasonal average.

Ms Wordie, who is based near Huntly, said: “It’s just been constant. We’re now into April and we’re still getting it – it’s still cold, it’s still wet.

“We can’t get any work done, we can’t get any ploughing done, we can’t get our crops in the ground, everything is starting to pile up.”

National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland president Martin Kennedy said weather was having a “devastating” impact.

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