Chairman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, Georgina Fort, has spoken of her pride at the organisation’s efforts to help flood victims.
An army of over 100 young farmers travelled from the length and breadth of the county - some from as far afield as County Durham - to help the clear-up effort.
Their focus was in the Dales village of Reeth, which has a race against the clock if the annual Reeth Show is to go ahead on August 26.
A human chain of young farmer helpers gathered up walling stones that had been washed away with the force of the flood water and started re-building the walls.
“We were all so busy working there was no time to get emotional,” said Georgina, a dairy and sheep farmer from Silsden. “But when we stopped for a moment and looked out at what had been achieved over the day it was a very special moment.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of Yorkshire’s young farmers. In spite of many of them having their own livestock to feed and look after before coming, they were ready to start work at 10am and didn’t stop all day. It was true camaraderie and young farmers’ spirit at its best.”
Sunday’s volunteering was co-ordinated by local Dales YFC clubs Reeth and Wensleydale.
Georgia Hird, secretary of Reeth YFC, said: “The mums from Reeth YFC put on a picnic lunch for the volunteers and the local fish and chip van kindly served us tea.
“Everyone was so appreciating of our help and the community really pulled together to help clear the show field in particular. We then visited various other badly affected places including famers in Fremmington and Arkengarthdale. Although Swaledale will not return to normal for a long time, I think this has really helped to lift spirits.”
The wider young farmers’ family has also swung into action, with Newport Pagnell YFC in Buckinghamshire donating hay and straw to the flood-stricken Dales community.