Support available for Yorkshire Dales farmers during Covid-19 crisis

A belted Galloway in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The Yorkshire Dales Farmer Network has created a wide-ranging support initiative to help Dales farmers during the coronavirus crisis.

The network said its members had raised concerns at the start of the pandemic about what would happen if key workers on the farm were unable to work.

In response to these concerns, network has created a support initiative to help the farming communities of the Dales.

The Farm Labour Emergency Support Scheme (FLESS) has been launched with the help of the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Farmers needing emergency labour can link up with potential workers who are willing to go to the farm and ensure continued operation in a worse-case scenario.

Managing director Adam Day said: “Whatever the challenge or the opportunity facing the farming community, the first reaction within the Farmer Network is always, what can we do to help?

“Without a shadow of doubt, the wider effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be more significant than those experienced during and after foot and mouth 2001, but we must maintain home- grown food production.

“We’re really looking for a strong response from the Yorkshire Dales. We would like more people to register with us and this includes anyone who may be able offer emergency labour, including skilled and experienced farm workers and also people who perhaps just want to help the farmers where they can, if needed.”

The Farmer Network is also encouraging Yorkshire Dales farmers to make contact in order to discuss information about available funding schemes, preparing contingency plans, and any potential difficulties such as sourcing supplies or general worries or concerns.

Mr Day said farmers should visit the organisations website at www.thefarmernetwork.co.uk to view the contingency plan template.

“We hope farmers will pick the phone up, talk to the team and make a plan for the worst, in the hope that it won’t be needed. Our message is clear, we are here to help”.

The Farmer Network can be contacted on 01768 868615. [kofi]