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Last Updated: Thursday January 07 2010 17:05 GMT

Snow and ice are here to stay

People sledging on Hampstead Heath, London

Snow has shut thousands of schools and caused chaos across the UK, and it could be around for another week.

Icy roads and blizzards are making it difficult to travel and forcing many schools to remain closed.

Temperatures fell to a chilly -15C in Oxfordshire in south east England - that's colder than a fridge freezer!

Lots of homes are now without electricity, and many trains and planes have been cancelled or delayed.

Children are mainly affected because so many schools have been closed, either because pupils and teachers can't get there, or because the schools can't be heated properly in the icy weather.

children sledging
Loads more sledges have been sold

More than 550 schools will be closed in Wales - that's around a third of the total. And at least 250 schools will be shut across Scotland.

In Scotland, it's so cold that the River Clyde has frozen over, and a rescue helicopter was forced to land because the weather was so bad. More snow is expected in parts of Northern Ireland, eastern England, west Wales and Cornwall.

Baboon eating hot potato
Baboon eating hot potato

Even animals have been affected by the cold. But some lucky baboons in Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside were given hot potatoes to munch on to keep them warm.