Cumbria Farm Flood Action Group – working together to support the farming community

Cumbria Farm Flood Action Group – working together to support the farming community

The Federation of Cummbria Commoners along with a number of organisations including: The Addington Fund, Cumbria Agricultural Chaplaincy, Farming Community Network (FCN), The Farmer Network, Forage Aid, Foundation for Common Land, National Farmers Union (NFU), Mitchells, RABI and Westmorland Agricultural Society have come together to co-ordinate efforts in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.   The primary aim of the group is to ensure that farmers are supported from a business and welfare point of view. 

At a meeting in Penrith on Monday (14th December) the group made plans to try and contact all farmers in affected areas to find out what support is needed and to assess the extent of the damage.   This information will be gathered and analysed on behalf of the group by The Farmer Network and NFU in the near future and used to inform the authorities about the scale of the support that will be required now and in the coming months.  

On other issues the group recognised that many farmers have a regular point of contact with one of the organisations above or agents, accountants, auction marts etc.  Information will be shared so that farmers can access support and get questions answered in any of these ways.   Farmers who are not sure who to contact are welcome to use the Farming Community Network (FCN) helpline as a first port of call -   03000 111 999. 

The Government is also setting up a new Cumbrian Floods Partnership group to consider what improvements to flood defences in the region may be needed, look at upstream options for slowing key rivers to reduce the intensity of water flows at peak times and build stronger links between local residents, community groups and flood defence planning.

The group, who will publish a Cumbria Action Plan next summer, will be chaired by Floods Minister Rory Stewart and made up of local authorities, the Environment Agency and community flood defence groups.