Pressure is mounting on the Government to provide “immediate and significant” funds to help farms and villages recover from “unprecedented” flooding in the Yorkshire Dales.
Farming and community leaders on the frontline of the response have issued a united plea for Whitehall support, after Richmond MP Rishi Sunak said he was “pushing very hard” for clarity on what funding can be made available.
Richmondshire District Council is co-ordinating the recovery in Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale where up to 113mm of rain fell in just three hours on Tuesday.
Rural organisations are working with the council to offer support and following a meeting with council leaders earlier today, a joint call was made for support for communities from the Farming Recovery Fund.
Adam Bedford, regional director of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: “Our meeting today was unanimous in the need for immediate and significant central government support to aid the recovery of the farms and villages affected in the Yorkshire Dales.”
He said the damage was “widespread”, that farms have seen livestock, walls, hedges and fences destroyed, and lost silage and hay bales that are relied on for feeding animals over winter.
Richmondshire District Council’s chief executive Tony Clark also called for government intervention.
“The farming and rural communities are banding together, as are support organisations who have met today. We reiterate our call for support from government to help us at this unprecedented time,” he said.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs did not respond directly to the calls for financial aid.
A spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with those affected and the Environment Agency continue to work closely with partners supporting affected communities and taking action to reduce the potential impacts of flooding.”
Rural organisations will host an event at Leyburn Auction Market on Wednesday, between 12pm and 3pm, to gather more details from those affected by the floods and to provide support. Farmers who attend will be able to speak to register for support from farming and community charities.