Wensleydale farmers’ plan to ‘harvest’ rainwater

The entrance to Metcalfe Farms' site near Leyburn.

A diversified farming business has unveiled plans to build a rainwater harvesting and recycling pond which will involve the excavation and processing of 40 million litres of limestone.

Metcalfe Farms’ has applied to Richmondshire District Council to create the pond to capture all the run off water from the northern and western areas of its expanding complex at Washfold Farm, off Moor Road, Leyburn.

The family firm has 900 pedigree Holstein cows and 900 sheep on the 2,100-acre Washfold Farm and neighbouring farms, and is involved in agricultural and haulage contracting as well as vehicle repairs.

Documents submitted to planners state the farm is a substantial site comprised of large buildings and yard areas, but as the complex has expanded to it has become increasingly difficult to get the rainwater to the existing ponds.

The firm stated a recent flood risk assessment over a building application required a 380m3 plastic cellular tank to be installed under the building. It said: “This is not ideal and disproportionately increases the cost of the project.”

The firm said the new pond would create a landscaped biodiverse area at the northern edge of the complex and enable recycled water from the pond to be used for yard and machinery washing.

Metcalfe Farms, which has previously faced concerns from residents over the number of heavy goods vehicles driving to and from the site and over plans for a ready mix concrete plant, said the limestone excavated for the pond would be processed as aggregate product to either use on the farm or be exported.


  1. Excellent plan ide from Metcalfe farms. Might help to stop the flooding in Grove Square area of Leyburn.

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