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Defra extends flood recovery scheme as stormy weather continues

Farm charities continue to appeal for donations as forecasters predict more torrential rain will fall across the UK


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A family was airlifted to safety following flooding in Scotland
A family was airlifted to safety following flooding in Scotland

The Government has extended its Farming Recovery Fund to allow more flood-hit farmers to apply for emergency funding of up to £20,000 each.

 

The fund was originally launched to help farmers hit by Storm Desmond in Cumbria, Northumberland and parts of Lancashire, but Defra said it would extend the scheme to help those affected by Storm Eva over Christmas and Boxing Day.

 

It came as swathes of England, Scotland and Wales were hit by severe flooding once again when Storm Frank unleashed gale-force winds and torrential rain over the festive period.

 

In Blairgowrie, Scotland, a family had to airlifted to safety by a Coastguard rescue helicopter after flood waters swept through their farmhouse yesterday (January 4).

 

Many farmers struggled to rescue livestock from the rising flood waters.

 

 

Watch the moment a farmer rescues his sheep from the flooded River Ribble:

 

 

Pledges of forage, bedding and grazing have continued to roll in to Forage Aid. The charity said donations would be required well into the spring and possibly the summer.

 

 

You can donate to Forage Aid here

 

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has also appealed for donations.

 

 

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for rain today (Monday) and tomorrow.

 

Flood warnings remain in place as rivers continue to rise in Scotland.

 

Further rain is forecast with amber weather warnings in place, primarily affecting Grampian, Angus, Perth and Kinross, and the eastern fringes of Stirlingshire.

 

"After such a wet Christmas period, ’when will it all end?’ is a reasonable question to ask,” said Farmers Guardian’s weather expert Dr Simon Keeling.

 

“There has been a short in rainfall patterns this week, with the jet stream being forced southwards. This has eased the rain amounts experienced by northern England, although eastern Scotland has been very wet over the past couple of days.

 

“Rain bands will be passing east from the Atlantic during the week as the jet stream temporarily shifts back north.

 

“Temperatures are mild too. However, signs of these slipping away too and it could be that we get a brief hit of winter next week. Of course that’s a long way off, but changes may be afoot.”

 

To see the weather forecast for your area visit www.farmersweather.co.uk.

 

 


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More about the Farming Recovery Fund

More about the Farming Recovery Fund

The Farming Recovery Fund initially opened for applications for flood-affected farmers on December 18.

 

The deadline for applications has now been extended from March 18 to April 1 to allow farmers in the newly affected areas time to apply.

 

Once all checks are completed, the RPA will aim to make payments against valid claims directly into bank accounts within five working days.

 

Farmers affected by flooding will be able to claim grants of between £500 and £20,000 to cover the cost of restoring their farmland. This includes:

  • The restoration of productive stock proof grassland
  • The restoration of productive arable and horticultural land
  • The restoration of field access or track ways, fencing or gates or water troughs
  • The restoration of drainage on flood-damaged holdings
  • Damage to agricultural machinery that cannot be insured
  • Damage to agricultural buildings that cannot be insured
  • Funding would include re-siting or re-location on the basis of improved positioning away from river edges, raising parapets or relocating to a less vulnerable access point in the field.

Natural England has also temporarily lifting requirements that normally apply to Environmental Stewardship agreements and protected sites, so that farmers and land managers in North affected by floods can focus on recovery.

 

Farmers who want to apply for the Farming Recovery Fund can find details at GOV.UK/rpa. They can also contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.

 

Guidance for farmers who have lost livestock as a result of the floods can be found here

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