Belfast Telegraph

Rostrevor family forced to dig to get water for cattle to drink

By Staff Reporter

With no rain coming from above, a Co Down farming family have had to go underground to keep their animals watered.

John Ross MacMathuna (35) helps out on his father's farm in Rostrevor. For the first time since 1995 they have had to dig more than a metre underground to access water for their cattle.

Like much of the country, Rostrevor has experienced high temperatures over the past week, ranging from 27C to 30C. The family also have grazing fields three miles away from their home.

"There's about 18 acres not directly connected to the farm and they would have streams coming down that run through them - but every single one of them is bone dry," said Mr MacMathuna.

"We couldn't have put any cattle in those fields because they would have died of thirst. That is why we had to go up with the digger because otherwise, a third of the farm would have been taken out of action.

"We dug in a few places where we knew there would be water. Although there's now water to drink, it doesn't help that there's very little for the cattle to eat. It's one thing having water, but they'll be hungry as well.

"They'll get by, but they won't be putting on weight. This is normally the prime grass-growing time too."

Belfast Telegraph

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