Water buffalo moved from floods

The water buffalo at their new temporary home in Middle Farm
The water buffalo at their new temporary home in Middle Farm

The torrential rain and heavy winds led to some unexpected residents moving home this week.

The severe weather has led to flooding across Sussex and the water buffalo ,which live on West Rise Marsh, have also been feeling the effects of the stormy conditions and so the decision was made to move the three adults and two calves to a temporary home.

It was a case of third time lucky to move the group after other missions to transfer them proved unsuccessful. But on Tuesday the herd was rounded up and taken to Middle Farm which has kindly offered a barn for the group to reside free of charge. Hobbs Recovery Services also moved a tractor over to the site for no cost.

The water buffalo, which belong to West Rise Junior School, form part of the children’s Bronze Age Studies.

Headteacher Mike Fairclough said, “It’s been a bit of an ordeal but it’s been brilliant of Middle Farm to take them on.

“We’ve gone up to Middle Farm and met the people and they are all lovely and genuine, they’re really happy to help.”

West Rise Junior School farm manager Alex Richards said the reason behind moving the buffalo was for their own welfare, adding, “On Christmas Day 90 per cent of the marsh was flooded and it’s never been like that before.”

The herd was transferred by lorry to Middle Farm on Tuesday.

Sharon Watson, secretary at Middle Farm, said they were happy to help after being approached by the school, adding, “We had an empty barn we were able to offer them.

“They are in isolation at present, we hope we may be able to put a cow and a calf on display for the public further down the line. It’s nice to see them there, they are very happy. It’s a nice end to the story.”