12 March 1999
Farmers count cost of Derwent flood

NORTH YORKSHIRE farmers are counting the cost of the worst floods this century.

Huge areas of cropping land along a 30 miles stretch of the River Derwent were under several feet of water this week as heavy rain and melting snow on the North Yorkshire Moors brought a deluge of water downstream.

The river, reaching 5m (16ft) above normal, broke its banks and spread beyond the flood meadows to engulf cropping land.

Chris Hoggard, who has 75% of his Howe Bridge Farm, Low Marishes, under water, including 71ha (175 acres) of winter crops, said that, provided the water gets away fairly quickly, past experience suggests that wheat will stand up to its drenching.

“But we have never had the floods this high before and a lot of debris has been brought down this time,” he said.

Malton NFU group secretary Robert Hicks said the only serious loss he had heard of so far was of flood waters causing the collapse of a stack of straw worth £10,000. But, he added, vast areas of crop land were under water which could only compound the generally poor state of crops following an excessively wet autumn and winter.