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Defra offers flood-hit farmers up to £20,000 as rain brings further flooding

Farming Minister George Eustice says support should help restore flood ravaged farmland


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A similar scheme was put in place after the Somerset floods of 2013/14
A similar scheme was put in place after the Somerset floods of 2013/14

Heavy rain overnight (Wednesday) has brought further flooding to Cumbria, with some areas under three feet of water.

 

Glenridding has once again been badly hit, with homes and businesses flooded for the second time in a week.

 

 

Farmers have been helping the relief effort, with some using machinery to clear roads and bail water out of deluged properties.

 

 

It came as Defra promised it will make support payments worth up to £20,000 to farmers across Cumbria and North Lancashire to help restore damaged agricultural land.

 

The payments are part of a £40 million Community Recovery Scheme announced by Chancellor George Osborne to help flood-hit areas.

 

A similar scheme was put in place after the Somerset floods of 2013/14.

 

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “We understand flooding can have serious consequences for farmers and we want to provide practical support to those affected by last weekend’s unprecedented rainfall in Cumbria and North Lancashire.

 

“The new Farming Recovery Fund will help to cover farmers’ short-term uninsured recovery costs, such as repairing damaged soils, tracks and flood channels. We will pay out on all eligible applications and we hope it will offer some relief at this challenging time.”

 

 

Mr Eustice added the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will relax its inspection requirements on farmers in flooded areas.

 

As previously reported by Farmers Guardian, Natural England has also temporarily lifted requirements which normally apply to Environmental Stewardship agreements and protected sites to enable farmers and land managers in Cumbria and North Lancashire to focus on recovery.

 

Farmers who want to apply for the Farming Recovery Fund should contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.

 

The Farming Recovery Fund will provide assistance with four key areas, including:

  • Restoring productive grassland
  • Recovering productive arable and horticultural land
  • Restoring farm vehicle access and,
  • Repairing agricultural drainage.

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