While the Dungog Shire is greener than so many other parts of the state ravaged by the drought, the plight of the farmers is never far from the community’s mind.
The busy fingers of local knitters have helped soothe one aspect of the drought, creating lamb jumpers to help save the little animals.
Maree Garland, Jan Hunter and her daughter Jacqui Too are behind the Facebook page “lamb jumpers Dungog” which has helped co-ordinate local knitters taking part in the Australia-wide movement of knitting jumpers for lambs affected by the drought.
The women and their husbands transported a selection of more than 160 of the the brightly coloured jumpers to a farm at Kootingal over the long weekend.
“It was amazing to see how this family care for so many sick and orphaned lambs from all over the district,” said Mrs Hunter.
“They were so appreciative for the time and effort that we had put into making so many little jumpers for their babies and the fact that we had traveled to Tamworth to deliver them.
“We where told of the hardships that the farmers are going through and that so many of the babies don’t make it or have had to be shot because their mums just walk away from them once born.
“One farmer had to shoot 40 of his babies and some of them the crows peck their eyes out whilst being born, then there are the ones that die because they are eating rocks and they get stuck in their tiny tummies because there is no grass.
“It really is so devastating.”
Mrs Hunter praised Ellie Cook as “the most amazing woman” as she and her children are caring for more than 130 lambs babies from newborn up to six weeks old.
“It was an inspiration to listen to their stories,” she said.
The group delivered 160 jumpers and the grateful family said all be useful because locals report the temperature still drops to below zero degrees at night.
Mrs Hunter said they will travel out again at the end of the month is anyone has more jumpers to donate.
You can contact her through the lamb jumpers Dungog Facebook page.