WHILE schoolchildren have been happily playing in a snowy winter wonderland, businesses and workers have not had it so easy.

Business in Moreton has been ‘decimated’ by the snow with the High Street like a ghost town and a number of shops unable to open due to the severe weather.

Steve Farnsworth, a committee member of Moreton Business Association, said: “We have some shops open but a number have had to remain closed. We have had a few customers in but it has been very quiet. It has decimated trade for small market town businesses and the market packed up early on Tuesday.”

However, it was not all bad news as Mr Farnsworth said the local toy shop had been doing a roaring trade in sledges, and shovels from the ironmongers had become the latest must-have item.

Meanwhile, any travellers brave enough to venture out into the arctic conditions in Shipston yesterday became snowbound after what is thought to have been the heaviest snowfall in more than 20 years hit the town.

About nine inches fell overnight on Tuesday, with further snow throughout the day. A visitor to the town, Debbie Bryce, from Essex, was stranded in Shipston as heavy snow had cut off the A3400 south towards Oxford. She said: “I was staying with a friend in Shipston for Christmas and delayed for a week getting here because of the snow in Essex. Now I’m here and I want to go home again I’m delayed in Shipston because of the snow. I haven’t seen this for a long time anywhere, in fact there’s a lot more snow here than when I was in Switzerland at the beginning of December.”

Gloucestershire County Council had about 30 snow ploughs working in the North Cotswolds overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

A council spokeswoman said: “Most of the main routes are passable with care. Steep areas and remote areas are more problematic.”

Residents are also being asked to check on their neighbours, as well as on older and vulnerable people in the community as the cold weather continues The snow forced the closure of many schools across the north Cotswolds, including Chipping Campden School, Bourton Primary School, St Catharine’s Catholic Primary School in Chipping Campden, St David’s Primary School in Moreton and Stow Primary School.

For updates on the weather, including details of school closures and traffic conditions, visit cotswoldjournal.co.uk.