THE FUTURE of a rural village's snow plough is in the hands of residents after an appeal for support.

Nenthead, in Cumbria, is frequently cut off by blizzards and snow drifts, with residents relying on the local snowplough to clear the roads.

However the team behind the community project have warned it could soon be cast adrift.

Struggling for volunteer drivers and a lack of maintenance funding, Tony Pennell said: "Unless there is a significant change in the situation, it seems increasingly likely the snowplough will be unable to continue to operate this winter."

The previous maintenance contract, with South Tynedale Railway Ltd, has been terminated after the business went into receivership.

The uncertainty is particularly worrying to residents as the roads around Nenthead are seen as the lowest priority for gritting by Cumbria County Council.

"If we don't get more support from folk prepared to offer their time and effort in active participation - it will simply die," Tony added.

Campaigner, Maxine Denoual said the snowplough is a "lifeline for our rural community."