Emergency fund for flood-affected Yorkshire farmers

The clear-up is likely to take months, if not years (Photo: Forage Aid)
The clear-up is likely to take months, if not years (Photo: Forage Aid)

Money will be made available from a charity's emergency fund to help flood-affected farmers in the Yorkshire Dales.

£50,000 will help farmers and rural communities affected by the flooding in Reeth and Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund's money will help those facing a range of urgent problems and a massive clear-up operation.

The NFU responded by saying it will be a ‘huge relief’ for farmers as they look to restoring their livelihoods.

The flooding has been localised but its consequences have been very severe, with farms having lost hundreds of sheep, miles of dry-stone walls being destroyed, and machinery washed away.

Claire Saunders, director of the Prince’s Countryside Fund said the charity aims to support the people who live and work in the countryside.

“We hope that this emergency funding will help to get those affected back on their feet.

“Rural and farm businesses are key to supporting thriving countryside communities and we want to help get those affected up and running again as soon as possible,” she said.

The charity is also working with the Dry Stone Walling Association to provide trained volunteers to help rebuild the dry stone walls.

Meanwhile, the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs have been volunteering to assist with the clear up efforts.

NFU Regional Director Adam Bedford said the emergency fund is 'fantastic news'.

“On behalf of the many farmers we’ve spoken to who are now facing so many challenges getting back on their feet, we would like to thank the Fund for their swift response and commitment to help the local farming community in whatever way they can.

“Over recent days, farmers have been asking how they even begin to deal with the huge quantity of stone deposited across the landscape and how they can get their fields back into use after walls and fences were swept away.

“Now they know they have not been forgotten and work can begin in earnest,” he said.

With the clear-up likely to take many months, if not years, the NFU is calling on the government to provide further recovery support.

“Our Vice President, Stuart Roberts, wrote last week to Defra Minister, Therese Coffey, calling for the reinstatement of the Farming Recovery Fund,” added Mr Bedford.

“We hope the government will take seriously the significant impact this extreme weather event has had on a vulnerable hill farming community and take action to support its recovery.”