Our letter called for:
- A proactive management plan for Environment Agency controlled watercourses and flood defences as a priority.
- Changes to the Flood Defence Grant in Aid cost-benefit analysis. The way that funding for flood defences is currently allocated leaves farmers and rural communities at a higher risk than urban communities.
- Recognition of the public goods farmers deliver. Flood storage is often provided at great cost to the landowner to protect surrounding urban areas. Farmers must be fairly paid for delivering this service with agreements put in place that allow farmers and growers to plan for it and ensure recovery procedures are in place.
The NFU will now deliver this message of urgency to Westminster to show that farmers demand immediate policy action and need a clear plan for the future to protect against flooding.
We still need your help to continue to show first-hand the damage caused by flooding.
Deliver solutions for the future
The letter followed weeks of devasting flooding which left vast areas of farmland underwater.
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw visited several affected farms in the North and Midlands, one of which has been left underwater four times in the past five years.
The NFU renewed its calls for the government to implement a comprehensive water management strategy as a matter of urgency.
“In the past few weeks, we have once more seen hundreds of farms across the country face the devastation of flooding and the huge financial stress and misery that brings,” said Tom.
“It stems from a failure to get to grips with the challenges of managing watercourses and improving and maintaining our flood defences.
“We need to see urgent action to tackle this issue.”
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw
“Many farmers play a crucial role protecting nearby towns and villages from flooding by holding water on their land but with ruined crops uninsurable and huge clear up costs, farmers and growers must be fairly rewarded for this public good they provide.
“With climate change one of our biggest challenges, it’s inevitable that storms will become more frequent and heavy rainfall will become more prevalent. That’s why we need to see urgent action to tackle this issue.”
The Deputy President called on political parties to take urgent action now to ensure the success of long-term plans.