Bale donations to aid recovery of flood-ravaged Yorkshire Dales farms

Pictured left to right: Forage Aid chairman Andrew Ward, JCB Fastrac sales engineer Sam Ullyott and farmer Michael Atkinson, of Reeth, with a JCB 542-70 AGRI Super Loadall and one of the Fastrac 4220 tractors  loaned to help the clear-up in Yorkshire. Picture courtesy of JCB.
Pictured left to right: Forage Aid chairman Andrew Ward, JCB Fastrac sales engineer Sam Ullyott and farmer Michael Atkinson, of Reeth, with a JCB 542-70 AGRI Super Loadall and one of the Fastrac 4220 tractors loaned to help the clear-up in Yorkshire. Picture courtesy of JCB.

Donated straw and silage are set to be distributed to flood-hit farms in the Yorkshire Dales.

Bales were swept away and irretrievably damaged in parts of the upper Dales by the force of flash flood waters at the end of July, leaving farmers short of feed and bedding to look after livestock over the winter.

Some of the damaged bales being removed from a flood-hit farm in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture courtesy of JCB.

Some of the damaged bales being removed from a flood-hit farm in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture courtesy of JCB.

To ease the financial burden of replacing them, the Forage Aid charity is co-ordinating donations that are due to be distributed in the coming days.

The charity’s intervention comes after it worked with partners to remove wrecked bales left strewn across the landscape.

Andrew Ward, chairman of Forage Aid, said the charity discovered piles of silage bales contaminated with sewage and spilt heating oil during visits to affected farms in the aftermath of the flooding.

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“We recognised that these heaps of stinking bales in field corners and farmyards were a very unpleasant reminder of the shocking event and farmers just didn’t know what to do with them,” Mr Ward said.

To help collect ruined bales, Bailey Trailers lent crop trailers and JCB loaned tractors and a telescopic handler, while two other firms – Woldmarsh and Certas Energy – paid for fuel so they could be sent to an anaerobic digestion plant in Cumbria where they were used to generate electricity.

Mr Ward added: “With the help of hauliers donating free transport and our logistics planning partner Branston Produce, we move on to the challenge of collecting and distributing the many tonnes of forage and straw donated by fellow farmers.”

See www.forageaid.org.uk to offer free straw, forage, haulage or other assistance or to make a request for help.

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