Farmers affected by flooding in northern England will be able to apply for up to £25,000 in government funding, Defra has announced.
Flooding in Yorkshire and the Midlands over the past week has seriously impacted many farmers, leaving thousands of acres of prime farmland under water.
Through the Farming Recovery Fund, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of £500-25,000 to cover repair costs. The fund has been extended to cover farmers hit by the recent floods, which started last Thursday (7 November).
Environment secretary Theresa Villiers said: “My thoughts go out to all those affected by the devastating flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.
“We are providing more funding to support farmers impacted and help local communities get back on their feet.
“Earlier this week I visited Environment Agency teams on the ground in South Yorkshire as they work around the clock to reduce flooding risks and keep people safe.
“I would like to pay tribute to the dedication of these staff, alongside our Emergency Services and Armed Forces, who are working day and night to protect our farmers, local communities and businesses.”
There are currently 39 flood warnings in place and 125 flood alerts. The Environment Agency (EA) has warned communities in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to remain vigilant as more heavy rain is expected today (14 November), on Friday and into the weekend.
While river levels have fallen in the past few days, further rain could bring river and surface water flooding to areas where the ground is saturated, EA says.
Since flooding began last Thursday, around 14,400 properties have been protected by flood defences and more than 300 Environment Agency staff are on the ground in South Yorkshire.
Another 200 UK Armed Forces personnel were also deployed to the area to support the recovery effort.
Responding to news of the funding, Country Land and Business Association president Tim Breitmeyer said: “The announcement shows that Government is listening and will come as a relief to many in rural areas. Farmers and landowners have been devastated by the destruction that has been caused by this flooding and it is vital that the money is made available quickly and easily.”
Defra said further details on how to apply for the funding will be available in due course.