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Sculptures and sledging are all the rage as snow covers Leicester


People have been getting their fill of wintry fun.

From Leicester streets transformed with snow sculptures and igloos to families sledging on icy hills, residents have been making the most of all the excitement the weather has to offer.

Plamen Slavov, 24, built a gorilla in Sweetbriar Road, West End, Leicester.

He said: "It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, really."

He said he and friend Alex Ignatov "were messing about making snowmen when we thought 'why not make something different?'".

"It took us about two hours to finish," he said.

"We didn't really feel the cold – I think we were working too hard. It was a lot of fun."

Some businesses also benefited.

Leicester footwear chain Shoe Zone, which has more than 500 stores in the UK and Ireland, said it had sold 51,000 pairs of wellington boots in the past week across the country – or nearly 15 pairs every minute.

However, the snow and ice brought misery for many people. There was a big leap in the number of car crashes.

Leicestershire Police received reports of 133 collisions since Friday's heavy snow, compared with 73 for the previous weekend.

Air ambulances were called out three times at the weekend to sledging accidents.

Two occurred on Saturday, one near Coalville and one at Burrough on the Hill, near Melton.

On each occasion, a man was thought to have suffered a fractured leg.

On Sunday, an air ambulance was called to Melton Country Park, off Redwood Avenue, in the town, after reports that a man in his 20s had broken his leg sliding down a hill on an improvised sledge.

No information about the condition of any of the injured people has been released.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) dealt with 6,335 calls between Thursday and Sunday – 900 more than for the same time last year.

Of the calls, 1,118 related to falls and 140 to road accidents.

Paul St Clair, Emas's deputy director of operations, said he was "proud of the fantastic job our staff are doing in assisting patients, despite difficult weather conditions".

Bosses at Arriva, which ferries people to and from hospital appointments, said many of its staff had stayed on past the end of their shifts over the weekend to make sure people got to the clinic or home.

However, mum Ayesha Acharya, of Highfields, Leicester, said her son, Muhammad-Ismail Wellington, nine, who has cancer, had to spend an extra night at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Friday when his Arriva transport did not arrive.

She said: "We didn't know what was happening.

"We were supposed to go home at 2pm on Friday and by about 4.15pm we were told it could be another two or three hours if not longer." The pair were eventually given a lift at 2pm the next day.

A spokesman for Arriva said: "We are very sorry that Muhammad-Ismail was not provided with transport on Friday afternoon due to traffic and weather conditions.

"We will review what happened to see if we could have communicated better with Ms Acharya."

East Midlands Airport was closed yesterday morning due to the snow, eventually opening at 2pm.

Numerous cargo and 32 passenger flights were delayed by the closure of the runway.

There is some good news for people dreading the predicted extra snowfall this week.

The outlook for the next few days has improved.

Previously, the Met Office had predicted snowfall later in the week, but the latest forecasts suggest the extra snow will be restricted to the north of the country and will not reach this far south.

To see more photos go to: www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/pictures You can upload your own snow pictures here www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/pictures and buy photos taken by our photographers at: www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/buyaphoto You can also email your videos and photos to newsdesk@leicestermercury.co.uk– please use SNOW PICS in the subject line and include your full name and where the pic was taken, thanks.

Sculptures and sledging are all the rage as snow covers Leicester

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