THE snow brought thousands out to play with sledges, skis and snowballs – but the surprisingly heavy fall across East Hampshire also caused heartache, anger and pain.
On Butser Hill a lost child and a missing pet were reunited with their distressed families.
Queen Elizabeth Country Park manager Tim Speller said: “Thankfully, the child and beagle were collected, and there weren’t any serious accidents, it was safe chaos.”
However the snow tourists left loads of rubbish, such as smashed plastic sledges, and lost mobile phones, hats, gloves, scarves and wellies – enough to fill a small trailer, said Mr Speller.
And beer bottles, doors, car bonnets, broken toboggans and other debris abandoned on Catherington Down caused angry dog walkers to hurl an icy blast after the visitors.
One said: “It’s disgraceful, they should be ashamed.”
In Grayshott councillor Ferris Cowper took a tumble in pursuit of trucks driving off-road. He said: “I fell over in a snowy lane and hurt my back and pulled a thigh muscle.”
On Petersfield Heath, huskies were spotted enthusiastically pulling a sledge, with a young boy riding shotgun, and at the Devil’s Punchbowl at Hindhead, Nordic walkers and cross country skiers became an attraction.
The winter weekend began early when schools closed on Friday morning, much to pupils’ joy.
One under-nine said: “I love the snow and sledging, but mostly being out of school.”
South Downs National Park spokesman Nick Heaseman said: “If you go out in the snow, please follow the countryside code, and take litter home, including broken sledges.”
Selborne, Passfield and Ludshott countryside ranger Chris Webb said: “Lots of people were out having fun.”
But in Horndean Robert Davies, of Hawthorn Road, wasn’t happy, saying despite early snow warnings local roads remained grit free and ice covered for hours after the fall began.
Local supermarkets reported panic buying, and roads and bus and rail services were disrupted for about 24 hours.
Snow began falling as the Post went to print on Tuesday evening, and led to Whitehill Community Forum in Whitehill Village Hall being cancelled, as well as Peter Pan at Bedales and a number of other events.
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Weather for Petersfield
Saturday 07 December 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West