FIREFIGHTERS shepherded more than 150 sheep to safety yesterday when rising floodwaters breached fields.

The terrified animals became stranded in land off Church Lane in Swallowfield shortly after 2.30pm when the River Loddon burst its banks.

Crews from Caversham Road fire station's animal rescue unit herded them to dry land higher up the field with firefighters having to lift a number of young lambs clear from the water.

Later at 4pm the crew and colleagues from Newbury fire station went to Station Road in Woolhamtpton after a woman motorist drove into floodwater and her engine cut out. The firefighters pushed her BMW clear of the water.

Watch manager Jeremy Batt urged drivers to avoid flooded roads and added: "It is best to turn around as you never know how deep the water is."