Flood affected farmers to feel impact 'for many months'

The charity Forage Aid is on the ground assessing the damage in North Yorkshire following the flooding (Photo: Forage Aid)
The charity Forage Aid is on the ground assessing the damage in North Yorkshire following the flooding (Photo: Forage Aid)

Farming organisations are to stage a drop-in session for flood-affected farmers as the impact of recent floods will be 'felt for many months'.

A month's rain hit the Yorkshire Dales in just four hours last week as the area was battered by flash flooding.

Rural roads and farm walls were destroyed by the flood water. In some areas which suffered severe flooding, livestock and silage bales were swept away.

A drop-in event for flood-affected farmers will now take place on Wednesday 7 August at Leyburn Auction Mart.

The event will bring together a range of organisations that can offer help and support including the NFU, Richmondshire District Council, the Environment Agency, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Dales Farmer Network, Forage Aid and farming charities RABI and FCN.

The aim of the event is to provide a one-stop-shop for farmers to directly access the information and support they need.

Adam Bedford, NFU regional director said: “This will be crucial in our work justifying the case for clear-up funding from government through the Farming Recovery Fund.

“The impact of these floods will be felt for many months with farmers facing loss of stock and fodder, destroyed walls and fences as well as tonnes of debris deposited across their land by the flood waters.

“One farmer I spoke to showed me his decimated walls – the stone needed to repair them is three miles away. This demonstrates the scale of the problem and the likely cost,” he said.

At the event, a variety of organisations will be on hand to answer questions, provide guidance and offer immediate on-farm assistance and financial help.

The Environment Agency will be able to advise on licencing issues and derogations and York, North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP will be able to advise on available business support.

Forage Aid will be able to arrange for deliveries of replacement fodder and farming charities RABI and FCN can act to help with short term practical issues and provide an immediate cash payment.

The NFU has its sights set on both short term priorities and the longer-term complicated issues likely to be facing farmers – many of whom are the custodians of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Mr Bedford said: “For example we will be using the data collected from affected farmers to act on their behalf with the RPA to try and ensure they receive prompt payments and are not adversely impacted by mapping issues as a result of wall damage and watercourse changes.

“The Farming Recovery Fund was made available by the government in Cumbria four years ago and was a very straightforward approach in that we would like to see replicated here.”

The drop-in session will run from 12 Noon to 3.00pm on Wednesday 7 August at Leyburn Auction Mart.