Comment: Fresh aid call as farms hit by the floods

Flooding in St Michaels on Wyre as seen from above. Photo: Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

Flooding in St Michaels on Wyre as seen from above. Photo: Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

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YOUR HEART has got to go out to those communities hit by the devastating floods and who have seen their land and property cruelly damaged, bad news at any time of the year but particularly sad with Christmas just around the corner.

As well as the dramatic scenes we’ve all seen in the North West of the country, The Prince’s Countryside Fund reported rural victims in parts of North Yorkshire, in the border areas with Cumbria. Communities in the Kirkby Lonsdale and Settle areas have suffered badly and will be counting the costs for some time to come.

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Luckily, the farming industry knows how to rally around in a crisis. At the start of last year I remember how farmers, including many in Yorkshire, went to great lengths to send aid to flood-hit colleagues in Somerset – with tractors being driven all the way down to the affected areas to drop off valuable supplies of silage.

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This week, The Prince’s charity has launched a flooding appeal which invites individuals to donate £3 each by texting PCF to 70300 in aid its work to bring flood relief to support farmers, rural businesses and communities.

Already, the charity has put up £40,000, to be shared between farm charities and Cumbria Community Foundation, to provide both immediate and longer-term financial support.

We can only hope that the festive and new year period will bring kinder conditions and with the Met Office’s chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo saying evidence suggests climate change played a part in the Cumbria floods, that the talks in Paris this week will lead to governments across the world taking meaningful action to limit dangerous emissions.

Farmers’ representatives from the UK have been among those attending the discussions.

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