Recovery fund opens to farms hit by autumn floods

A fund to help farmers hit by last autumn’s floods get back on their feet has opened for applications from farm businesses in parts of South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the Midlands.

The Farming Recovery Fund offers grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of uninsurable repair costs, including removing debris, re-cultivation of land and replacing damaged field gates.

The scheme had previously only been open to farmers in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire, who were hit by floods in summer 2019.

See also: £2m flood recovery fund opens for applications

The government has confirmed that from Monday (6 January) it will accept applications from farmers affected by flooding during November in parts of South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the Midlands.

The budget has also been doubled, taking the total value of the fund to £4m.

The application window for flood-affected farmers in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire remains 31 March.

The application window for farmers in the extended areas will close on 31 July, but farmers are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as they are able.

Photographic evidence

Full guidance about the extension to the fund and how to apply will be published shortly.

However, farmers will be expected to provide supporting evidence of the damage suffered, including quality photographs.

Some types of work will require up to three quotes to be provided, but other items will be paid out based on either a reference or standard cost.

‘Natural disaster’

Farmers in the affected areas suffered widespread damage after unprecedented levels of rainfall over the autumn period led to rivers overtopping and flood defences being breached.

The amount of rain that fell during October was 150-170% above the monthly averages across South Yorkshire and Midlands.

Large tracts of agricultural land were left under water with the impact severe enough to be classified as a ‘natural disaster’ under EU regulations.

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