AIRCRAFT soaring over a farm in Wroughton are posing a threat to sheep and newborn lambs, according to the manager of a Wiltshire tourist attraction.
Jackie Gusscott, general manager of Studley Grange Butterfly World and Farm Park, says large military aircraft flying low over her farm are causing distress to her animals.
She said: “It petrifies the animals. We have a lot of pregnant goats and sheep and it’s causing a lot of stress while they’re giving birth.
“One ewe gave birth to a dead lamb and we may end up losing a lot of lambs and baby goats if this continues.”
Jackie said other livestock were injuring themselves because they were terrified by the extremely loud noise of the aircraft.
“They have a fright-or-flight mechanism when they’re scared, they either stand completely still or run away.
“The lambs and sheep are running into the fences and hurting themselves,” she said.
Jackie said although it had gone a little quiet recently, there had been a plane flying overhead at around 5.15pm every day for several weeks.
Her farm is one of the most popular attractions in the county but she said the noise is also affecting the experience of the many visitors who go there.
Jackie added: “The planes fly so low, it’s really frightening and it’s scaring some of the younger visitors. It’s also distressing for visitors who see the sheep panic and charge into the fence.”
The RAF has been made aware of the issue and has said it is looking into it.
Jackie said: “We’ve written to them and they’ve passed the complaint on to the appropriate people but I have no idea how long it will take to sort it out, it’s a long process.
“They said they might be A400Ms, possibly Hercules planes.
“We’re worried that by the time they sort it out, the lambing and kidding season will be over.”
RAF Brize Norton was approached for comment but was unable to reply before the Adver went to press.
The butterflies at Butterfly World on the same site were reportedly unfazed by the roar of the jets and had not been adversely affected by the frequent flyovers.