Recovery funding will be 'huge relief' to farmers

Dales farmer Mike Barker being interviewed by BBC Look North surrounded by stone deposited on his fields by the floods

On hearing the news, NFU Regional Director Adam Bedford said that a week on from the disaster, and with the immediate and long-term impact of the floods becoming clearer, the decision by PCF to release recovery funds would allow the farming community to really begin the process of restoring their farms – fields, fences and walls.

The announcement comes hard on the heels of welcome business recovery funding announced earlier in the week by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP.

“We have been talking behind the scenes to PCF, but this really is fantastic news,” said Mr Bedford. “On behalf of the many farmers we’ve spoken to who are now facing so many challenges getting back on their feet, we would like to thank the Fund for their swift response and commitment to help the local farming community in whatever way they can.

“Over recent days, farmers have been asking how they even begin to deal with the huge quantity of stone deposited across the landscape and how they can get their fields back into use after walls and fences were swept away.

“Now they know they have not been forgotten and work can begin in earnest.”

With the clear-up likely to take many months, if not years, the NFU is calling on the government to provide further recovery support.

“Our Vice President, Stuart Roberts, wrote last week to Defra Minister, Therese Coffey, calling for the reinstatement of the Farming Recovery Fund,” added Mr Bedford.

“We hope the government will take seriously the significant impact this extreme weather event has had on a vulnerable hill farming community and take action to support its recovery.”