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45 farm workers go through the night to clear snow from Norfolk strawberry tunnels

PUBLISHED: 13:35 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 02 March 2018

A 45-strong team worked through the night to clear the snow from fragile strawberry tunnels at Place UK in Tunstead. Picture: Stefan Aionitoaei / Place UK

A 45-strong team worked through the night to clear the snow from fragile strawberry tunnels at Place UK in Tunstead. Picture: Stefan Aionitoaei / Place UK

Stefan Aionitoaei / Place UK

A 45-strong team worked through the night to clear snow from fragile poly-tunnels built to protect north Norfolk’s strawberry crop.

Farm workers at Place UK helped to clear snow from the back roads around Tunstead. Picture: Stefan Aionitoaei / Place UKFarm workers at Place UK helped to clear snow from the back roads around Tunstead. Picture: Stefan Aionitoaei / Place UK

The temporary plastic structures at Place UK in Tunstead, near Coltishall, had been built a week before the wintry arrival of the Beast from the East – but there were fears the heavy snowfall could prompt a collapse.

So the seasonal workers who built the tunnels worked an extra night shift earlier this week to clear the snow from the roof.

Managing director Tim Place said: “Without this the strawberry tunnels would have collapsed under the weight of snow. Now we hope to be able to plant the strawberries next week.”

The same workers also joined the efforts of farmers across the region who volunteered manpower and equipment to clear rural roads and help stricken drivers out of snow drifts.

Mr Place said: “We had two JCBs out clearing the local back roads. Some people are commissioned to do that, but with us it is all voluntary. It is nice to see things keep going when you get conditions like this.”

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