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After a large number of farms were hit by devastating flooding in November 2019, Fisher German’s Ian McKenzie is urging farmers and landowners to check if they are eligible to claim from The Farming Recovery Fund to help cover the costs of damages. The Government has opened the fund to help those whose land was damaged to seek financial compensation. One off grants of between £500 and £25,000 are available to put towards the costs of reinstating and repairing any affected agricultural land, which could provide a significant amount of support to those impacted.

The fund is only available to those in certain areas, and there are several rules and procedures which applicants must navigate. Grants can be claimed for standard capital items such as fencing materials and gates, livestock troughs, stone wall restoration, cultivation operations including grass seed and cover crop seed, restoring field access and tracks. The fund will not cover insured losses or items that insurance should normally cover, including buildings and equipment, any items for which the applicant has already sought funding from another source, labour costs including the labour of people employed by the applicant, the cost of annual cash crop seeds or plants or livestock of any type.

The eligible areas for the fund are:

  • South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire: The flooding of low-lying agricultural land by overtopping of rivers and the breaches on Barlings Eau, Dorrington and Timberland Delph watercourses on November 7 and 8, 2019 within the Internal Drainage Board areas of Ancholme, Scunthorpe and Gainsborough, Witham Third, Upper Witham, Trent Valley and Danvm.
  • Derbyshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire: The flooding of agricultural land by overtopping of flood defences on the Derbyshire Derwent and Dove, and the Avon in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, downstream from Evesham.

We would advise anyone looking to claim to gather as much photographic evidence as possible to demonstrate the devastating impact of the flooding and help paint a clear picture of the loss suffered to their agricultural business.There are standard rates that the fund will pay for a number of items, for instance fencing, however some repair items will require several quotes for the works that are being claimed for. A sizeable amount of funding is available, so we would therefore advise farmers and landowners to gain expert advice to ensure they are getting the most from their claim. The application process is complicated and this, combined with a lack of knowledge about the fund has meant we have seen fewer applications; which could ultimately result in many farmers missing out on the funding.

If you need support in submitting an application or assessing your eligibility for the Farm Recovery Fund, we can help! Get in touch to find out more.