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29th Jun, 2022

Farm which cares for 40 horses has water supply stopped during heatwave

Laura Kearns 6th Jul, 2018 Updated: 6th Jul, 2018

DESPERATE farmers begging for their water supply to be switched on after their 40 horses were left without water during the ongoing heatwave.

The Gardner family at Mill Farm in Ashorne were stunned to suddenly find they had no running water on Monday (July 2).

The family care for some 40 horses at the farm, which has been difficult enough in temperatures pushing 30 degrees even with a water supply.

Chris Gardner, who runs the family farm along with his wife Maddy and parents Sue and John, who are both in their 70s, says they were forced to call upon neighbours for help and even had firefighters at the farm filling up water tanks.

Chris said he did not know why the supply has been turned off and despite constant calls trying to resolve the situation, the farm’s water was not switched back on until Thursday (July 5).

Eventually after Severn Trent visited the property it was discovered a farm worker on neighbouring land hand turned off some stop taps which the Gardner family did not know were there, and had not been informed had been switched off.

He told the Observer: “We didn’t know why the supply stopped – nobody seemed to know.

“We managed to get water from several sources, including the fire brigade, but we couldn’t keep using them to supply us as they need to be ready for other emergencies.

“I could cope without a shower for a bit but we couldn’t explain to the forty-odd horses on the farm that we’ve got no water so they need to drink sparingly. They were at risk and would die without water.

“We made sure they never ran out, but it was hard work at times.”

The Gardner’s business – which has been running for nearly ten years – produces hay which is then sold or used to support their own horses and those of customers.

Severn Trent said it had a back-up plan to give the family with tanks filled with water, but managed to restore a running supply after taking a closer look.

A spokeswoman told the Observer: “We were out with Mr Gardner and were preparing to supply him with bowsers full of thousands of litres of water but, having taken at look at the problem, we’re glad to say that the water supply to the farm has now been restored.

“The issue was on Mr Gardner’s private pipes and while we wouldn’t normally have responsibility for these, we were happy to help on this occasion.”

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