Dr Neil Hudson celebrated community resilience on Alston Moor, when he welcomed Nenthead snowplough team’s newest member – Margrit.
Not a person, Margrit is the team’s newest machine, that is both a snowplough and, as the name suggests, a gritter. The MP for Penrith and The Border was introduced to Margrit by Tony Pennell, a retired engineer who said he has been ploughing snow on the Moor in some form or another for at least 50 years, and mechanic Kevin Short.
Run as a community interest company for the benefit of isolated residents, the snowploughs provide round the clock coverage for the remote communities surrounding Nenthead on Alston Moor which often see heavy snowfall over the winter months.
Dr Hudson’s visit coincided with the Nenthead Snowplough team saying a fond farewell to Bertha, a machine that has been clearing snow on the Moor for a decade. The team said Bertha had served them well, but Margrit’s enhanced gritting capabilities will be much more useful, moving forward along with second machine Big Bertha.
Eden District Council’s Eden Community Fund financed the new gritter which the Nenthead team attached to the plough themselves. The Nenthead team are always on the lookout for volunteers to drive or maintain the vehicles, to find out more email email@example.com.
Dr Hudson said: “It was quite bizarre seeing Nenthead’s two snowploughs out in the blazing sun but in fact it served as a reminder that extreme weather events of all kinds are becoming more frequent and so to have such valuable community resources in place as the snowploughs is more important now than ever.
“Rural communities like Nenthead know their own needs and thanks to local people putting in hard work, the village is more resilient than ever.
“Congratulations to the team for their new purchase and thanks must go to Eden District Council for seeing the benefits of the plough and funding it. I know that Nenthead folk will really appreciate Margrit in action come winter.”