Support payments worth up to £20,000 will be available to farmers who have been affected by flooding to help restore damaged agricultural land, Farming Minister George Eustice confirmed today (9 December 2015).
The payments are part of a £40million Community Recovery Scheme announced by the Chancellor today to help hard-working people in flood-hit areas following the record rainfall in parts of North West England, taking the total of government support pledged to over £60 million.
In addition the Rural Payments Agency will not carry out inspections in the flooded areas and will make use of any flexibility in cross compliance and animal movement rules for affected farmers.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
We understand flooding can have serious consequences for farmers and we want to provide practical support to those affected by last weekend’s unprecedented rainfall in Cumbria and North Lancashire.
The new Farming Recovery Fund will help to cover farmers’ short-term uninsured recovery costs, such as repairing damaged soils, tracks and flood channels. We will pay out on all eligible applications and we hope it will offer some relief at this challenging time.
I am also pleased to confirm the RPA will be relaxing inspection requirements on farmers in the flood-hit areas so farmers can focus all their efforts on getting back up and running.
The Farming Recovery Fund will provide assistance with four key areas, including:
- Restoring productive grassland
- Recovering productive arable and horticultural land
- Restoring farm vehicle access and,
- Repairing agricultural drainage.
Farmers who want to apply for the Farming Recovery Fund should contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.
Meanwhile, Natural England is also temporarily lifting requirements that normally apply to Environmental Stewardship agreements and protected sites, so that farmers and land managers in Cumbria and North Lancashire can focus on recovery.