Farmer recalls his ‘brush with death’ during storms

Brian Lund
Brian Lund

Around a dozen sheep lay dead in a field where just five minutes previously Brian Lund had been feeding them.

Mr Lund, 62, farms 350 acres high above Hebden Bridge at Walshaw, and described last night’s (Sat) storms as the worst he had seen.

Late afternoon high winds flung bits and pieces including bin lids around his yard.

Storm clouds later gathered ahead of the full brunt of the weather striking the area.

“We had a rough time,” he said.

“I was out feeding my sheep and looking round my stock and then the lightning struck.

“I have never seen anything like it and it nearly put me on my back.”

After feeding sheep in a field he went into a barn in the next field where he heard a big bang.

“The flash and bang were instant. I could see the lighting in the field.”

He found the dead sheep where he had been stood minutes earlier.

“I just thank God I got out of that field,” he said.

“The sheep lay dead where I had fed them.”

Several sheep survived the lightning strike but suffered a big shock.

“A lot of them were covered in mud where they had been thrown on their backs,” said Mr Lund.

His two dogs which were with him at the time of the bang immediately fled - one into a vehicle and the other disappeared for 90 minutes - while the storm raged with lots of lightning.

Cows housed in cubicles and a yard were also spooked.

“They were hyped up and nervous but have now recovered,” said Mr Lund, who lives 900ft above sea level.

He checked neighbouring properties and said fortunately nobody else had suffered serious damage.

He has farmed the area since he was a youngster and regularly keeps an eye on the weather forecast but said he was caught out yesterday.

“It caught me by surprise - I never saw that coming,” he said.