Drop-in session for food-affected Dales farmers

Photo: Guy Carpenter.

A drop-in event for flood-affected Dales farmers will take place on Wednesday this week 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. Richmond MP Rishi Sunak is also sending a representative.

“The aim of the event is to provide a one-stop-shop for farmers to directly access the information and support they need and make sure we have logged the extent of the issues facing them,” said Adam Bedford, NFU regional director

“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.”

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
  • 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
  • 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),” added Mr Bedford.

“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 12noon to 3pm on Wednesday 7 August at Leyburn Auction Mart. NFU members attending are asked to bring with them their SBI number to ensure the NFU can act on their behalf with the RPA.