Paddy's field drama: a sheep entangled in a wire fence is rescued by a passing gas engineer

helping our community

Ewe’ll just love this heart-warming story.
How a gas engineer kept calm under pressure to free a sheep entangled in a wire fence and watched as she reunited with her lamb.
Paddy McQuaid was in rural Lancashire, north of Preston, as part of a team checking the route of underground gas pipelines.
It was the former soldier’s first time out on such a task – known in the industry as ‘linewalking’ – after joining gas network Cadent last year.
But the routine job soon became anything but, as Paddy, 34, from Oldham, spotted the animal in distress.
“It was trapped and the more it struggled the worse it became entangled in the fence,” said Paddy.
“It had a little baby lamb nearby, which looked terrified.”
The team tried to untangle the sheep but she became more and more distressed.
So Paddy, a former Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment infantryman, came up with a new battleplan.
“I checked on Google Maps and saw there was a building a mile and a half away so I started running and kept on until I came to a workshop.
“Then I spotted a lady who knew the farmer and she said she’d contact him.
“Just in case, I checked in the workshop and asked if I could borrow some wire cutters and scissors.”
Armed with these new tools, he raced back to the scene to find the wire was starting to embed itself further into the sheep’s skin.
So, he began to carefully cut the animal free.
“She ran off to her lamb, which was lovely to see.”
He added: “It was my first experience of linewalking. The rest of the team assured me it isn’t always this dramatic.”

Cadent in the North West

Cadent manages the North West’s gas network – more than 21,000 miles of underground pipes and above-ground stations that carry gas to 2.7 million properties in the region. From homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other workplaces, to industrial sites and HGV fuelling stations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from Lancashire to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Cadent also provides the region’s 24/7, 365-day gas emergency service.
More than 83 per cent of homes in the UK are heated by gas.


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

Media contacts

Kevin Hegarty

07970 694897