A FLOCK of 33 sheep stranded on a patch of land surrounded by flood water have been rescued.

The sheep had become stranded on raised land and fallen trees near St Asaph during Storm Dennis.

The RSPCA deployed a specialist emergency rescue team after rising River Elwy water levels caused the heavily pregnant ewes to become trapped in a field.

A rescue effort, on Monday, February 17, had to be abandoned after the risk was deemed 'too great'.

The sheep have now been saved after a farmer was able to use a 4x4 tractor with a trailer to move the sheep to higher ground.

A spokesperson from the RSPCA Cymru said: "An RSPCA inspector attended on Tuesday, February 18 and met with the farmer and the water level has dropped.

"We have since been informed that the farmer was able to use a 4x4 tractor with a trailer to move the sheep to higher ground successfully."

Initially inspectors thought there were 22 sheep.

Talking about the first rescue attempt, RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: "As the sheep were all heavily in lamb and it would have been such a treacherous move to get them out of the flooding we decided to leave them where they were.

“As the flood water has begun receding and the farmer was on hand to monitor them, we felt they would be safer left in situ.

“Had we have started trying to rescue them they would have spooked and likely fled into the water where they may well have drowned.”

The RSPCA advises pet and livestock owners to have an escape plan in place for their animals to get out of danger.

Phil Lewis, RSPCA deputy chief inspector who is the water rescue coordinator in Wales, said: “If you live in an area at risk of flooding, make sure you have an escape plan so that you know how to get your animals out of danger. Flood water rises rapidly, so if there is a flood warning don’t hope for the best, act early. If disaster strikes, put your animal flood plan into action. Ensure you can be contacted in an emergency and keep phone numbers of people who can help move your animals.

“Don’t put your own or another life in danger to attempt an animal rescue.

“In case of flooding, the RSPCA has an experienced team to provide assistance to communities affected by flooding.”

Anyone who see an animal outside that looks like it is suffering, telephone the RSPCA referencing the location, time and date on 0300 1234 999.