Farmers hit by Storm Eva flooding in Lancashire and Yorkshire will receive emergency funding of up to £20,000 each, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced today (31 December 2015).
The Farming Recovery Fund, originally launched to help farmers hit by Storm Desmond in Cumbria, Northumberland and parts of Lancashire, will now be extended to farmers in all the areas affected by storms over Christmas and Boxing Day. The Farming Recovery Fund also covers farmers in Durham hit by Storm Desmond or Storm Eva.
Farmers suffering from uninsurable losses can apply for Farming Recovery Fund grants of up to £20,000 via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to help restore soils, rebuild tracks and repair flood channels.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
We have witnessed further unprecedented flooding which will have serious consequences for farmers. We remain committed to providing practical support to those farmers affected.
That is why I am pleased to announce we will be extending the Farming Recovery Fund to help cover short-term uninsured recovery costs such as, repairing damaged soils, tracks and flood channels.
Farmers need to know that when the worst strikes, we are ready to offer relief at this challenging time so they can focus on their recovery.
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.
These payments are part of more than £50million of extra funding available for flood hit communities announced by the Communities Secretary yesterday, to help support households and businesses affected by the weekend’s devastating floods in Northern England.
The Farming Recovery Fund initially opened for applications for flood-affected farmers on 18 December. The deadline for applications has now been extended from 18 March 2016 to 1 April 2016 to allow farmers in the newly affected areas time to apply.
Once all checks are completed, the RPA will aim to make payments against valid claims directly into bank accounts within five working days.
Farmers affected by flooding will be able to claim grants of between £500 and £20,000 to cover the cost of restoring their farmland. This includes:
- the restoration of productive stock proof grassland
- the restoration of productive arable and horticultural land
- the restoration of field access or track ways, fencing or gates or water troughs
- the restoration of drainage on flood-damaged holdings
- damage to agricultural machinery that cannot be insured
- damage to agricultural buildings that cannot be insured
- funding would include re-siting or re-location on the basis of improved positioning away from river edges, raising parapets or relocating to a less vulnerable access point in the field.
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 North affected by floods can focus on recovery.
Farmers who want to apply for the Farming Recovery Fund can find the form and guidance on GOV.UK. They can also contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.
Guidance for farmers who have lost livestock as a result of the floods can be found here.