Another company experiencing a surge in activity on the drainage front is Horncastle, Lincolnshire, firm Shelton Drainage.

Its new chain trencher is aimed at farmers who want to drain wet areas of fields at relatively low cost. It can dig down to 1m deep and the trench width can be varied to allow 60, 80, 100, 125 and 150mm-diameter land drainage pipes to be installed.

The trencher fits on the three-point linkage and needs a tractor of 45hp with creep gears capable of a forward speed of around 300m/hr at 540 rpm pto speed.

It can also be fitted with a conveyor to carry the arisings into a trailer or dump truck running alongside, or alternatively allowed to discharge the soil on the right hand side of the trench.

For accurate falls the digging boom can be laser-controlled manually or automatically. Cost is £11,450 and the conveyor costs £1500.