The Environment Agency confirms that an exceptional flood incident occurred as a result of significant rainfall in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire on 7 November 2019 and based on this evidence the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recognises that the affected areas have suffered a natural disaster within the meaning of EU Regulation (EU) 702/2014.
On 7 November, a slow moving front, which remained static for 24 hours, deposited up to 100mm across the catchments of the Dove, Derbyshire Derwent, Don and Rother, Lower Trent and Erewash, Witham, Torne and Ancholme, which experienced overtopping of their rivers and several breaches in flood defence embankments.
South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire
In South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, heavy rainfall resulted in the over-topping of river embankments and extensive flooding of low lying land, much of which is within special drainage areas managed by Internal Drainage Boards. The excess water in the already full and overtopping main rivers such as the Don, Trent, Ancholme and Witham resulted in the drainage systems being at capacity, resulting in severe and prolonged flooding within these Internal Drainage Districts.
Lincolnshire experienced several breaches in flood defence embankments, resulting in extensive flooding of low lying areas.
In Derbyshire, which is not covered by any Internal Drainage Boards, the Derwent and Dove rivers both overtopped their banks due to the exceptional rainfall experienced in this region. The saturated land from the prolonged rain in October was unable to store the excess water, resulting in serious flooding of agricultural land.
The UK Government has committed to extending the Farming Recovery Fund to provide assistance to farmers whose agricultural land has been damaged. The Fund provides financial assistance up to 100%, with a minimum grant level of £500 and a maximum grant level of £25,000.
Financial assistance will be made available within the scope of Article 30 and the general conditions of the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (EU) 702/2014, with assistance being provided to cover non-insurable items and activities such as re-cultivation, reseeding, reinstating field boundaries and removing debris from agricultural land.
The scheme has an application process where farmers who are based in the relevant geographical area, provide photographs and maps to show the impact of the event on their agricultural land. The Rural Payments Agency, on behalf of DEFRA, administers the scheme, assesses the applications for eligibility and issues agreements. Once the work is complete, the Rural Payments Agency processes claims for payment and checks supporting evidence to ensure the work has been completed in line with scheme requirements. A number of site inspections are undertaken to verify the works.
The government has announced it will extend its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.
Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs – whether that’s clearing debris or recovering damaged land.
Full guidance about the fund and how to apply will be published shortly. In the meantime, affected farmers can read existing guidance for those affected in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet, for information.