Scots farmers count the cost after major flooding

Farmers and crofters in Scotland are facing serious losses and a lengthy clean up after heavy rainfall caused flooding across parts of the country, particularly in the north and west.

Farmer Niall Shaw uploaded footage of dozens of silage bales being washed away down the River Array in Inverary over the weekend on Facebook and X.

NFU Scotland (NFUS) said reports of the extensive flooding, landslips and road closures, significant areas of grassland and crops under water and the loss of fodder to flooding were “clear indicators of the unprecedented scale of damage in some parts”.

See also: Q&A: What are your rights when farmland is flooded?

On Monday (9 October), NFUS president and Perthshire hill farmer Martin Kennedy will be meeting with his local MSP, John Swinney, on Tayside along with fellow farmers to discuss the scale of the damage.

An NFUS spokesperson said: “The extreme rainfall across much of Scotland on Friday, Saturday and Sunday has left many of Scotland’s farmers and crofters using the next 24 to 48 hours to assess the scale of damage and the impact to their businesses.

“The search for a man missing in the River Tay goes on and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

“NFU Scotland is using its network of regional managers, group secretaries and local offices to monitor and report on the situation.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is monitoring the impact of the floods in three areas of interest – the River Spey, the River Tay and Kelvin-Teith.

Sepa said there is extensive flooding near the River Tay, particularly in Perth, and the River Spey in Aviemore.

The Met Office said these areas and several others received more than 4in (100mm) of rainfall in two days.

Further floods expected

Although conditions are improving, river levels are continuing to rise and the overall flood risk is high.

There is the possibility of further flooding on Tuesday (10 October), with more heavy rainfall forecast, especially in western areas.

The Scottish government held a meeting on Sunday (8 October) to discuss the impact of the flooding and agree arrangements to co-ordinate the on-the-ground response and support anyone affected by flooding and severe weather.

NFUS welcomed the early involvement of Scotland’s rural charity Rsabi to assist affected farmers and crofters.

Help is available 24/7 via its helpline on 0808 1234 555 or live webchat at

“We also support Rsabi’s call for farmers and crofters to reach out and check in with friends and family at this time,” added an NFUS spokesperson.

Rsabi chief executive Carol McLaren said: “Clearly many farmers and crofters have been facing some very challenging situations on the back of the persistent, torrential rainfall and our thoughts have been with those who have been battling to look after livestock and their property.

“We’re keen to make sure anyone who is struggling as a result of the exceptional conditions is aware that Rsabi is here to offer a range of practical, financial or emotional support.”

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