Farming bosses welcome Derbyshire flooding fund

Rural leaders have welcomed a funding boost for flood-affected farmers in Derbyshire.

Much of the county was left under water in November as heavy rain led to severe flooding throughout the area, with the Derbyshire Dales area particularly badly affected.

Matlock was badly affected by flooding in November.

Matlock was badly affected by flooding in November.

Now the government has announced a £2 million Farming Recovery Fund, to support farmers in Derbyshire who suffered uninsurable damage to their property in the floods of November 7 and 8.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “I saw first-hand the impacts of this devastating flooding myself when visiting farmers in Lincolnshire in November. I am delighted we’ve been able to extend our fund to farmers hit with unprecedented weather last year.

“This scheme will help farmers get back on their feet.”

Stuart Roberts, vice-president of the NFU farmers’ union, said: “The  fund will be a relief to many farmers still dealing with unprecedented amounts of water on their land from the November floods and who are having to negotiate mass-scale clear-up operations.

Flooding near Matlock.

Flooding near Matlock.

“The NFU has been working with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to ensure farm businesses in the worst-hit areas are able to apply for the funding they desperately need – this extra £2m will go a long way to helping these businesses get back on their feet.”

Councillor Barry Lewis, Derbyshire County Council leader, said: “The floods in November affected many farms in the county and I am delighted farmers are able to apply for funding to help them put right the damage caused.”

The fund opened in September 2019, with £2m for farmers affected by flooding in North Yorkshire in July and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire in June.

It is now being extended with a further £2m for farmers in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Derbyshire hit by flooding in November.

Theresa Villiers, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, leaves Downing Street after the first ministerial cabinet meeting of 2020, on January 7.

Theresa Villiers, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, leaves Downing Street after the first ministerial cabinet meeting of 2020, on January 7.

Paul Caldwell, RPA chief executive, said: “The fund provides support to farmers following extreme flooding events, contributing to the costs of the clean-up operation and to uninsurable losses.

“While insurance will pay out for the majority of the damage, under the fund, farmers will be able to apply for money to help cover unexpected costs – such as rebuilding fences and stone walls.

Applications are open until July 31, 2020 – see bit.ly/2QzuOJr