Farmers affected by storms offered new funding

By Rob Blair, Partner and ARA specialist

Following the storms that ravaged the UK earlier this year, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has announced the availability of emergency grants of £1,000 to provide financial support to those severely affected.

Conditions have been truly appalling, with three major storms coming through the country in one week for the very first time after the wettest February on record.

The storms caused not only flooding but also disruption to supply chains, power outages, damage to buildings, trees and hedgerows.

According to the Environment Agency, more than 76,000 incidents were reported to its incident management service, including flood, drought, fires, fish kills and pollution incidents. This amounted to one every seven minutes, 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately, extreme weather is becoming increasingly common due to climate change, which means a constant battle to protect crops and maintain soil quality.

Degraded land is less able to retain water and when heavy rainfall occurs, there is a greater risk of flooding.

Applications will be fast-tracked using a simplified application process to ensure monies are available quickly.

As a spokeswoman for the benevolent fund commented, the fund was set up as part of RABI’s commitment to supporting all farming people.

She added that the body was keen to ensure that the stress caused by their devastating effects and flood damage was not heightened by immediate financial worries.

Anyone calling the helpline will be guided through a short and simple application form by a RABI support officer, as part of RABI’s mission statement to ensure that no farming person should ever have to face adversity alone.

Farmers still affected by February’s storms can access the grants by calling RABI’s 24/7 helpline on 0800 188 4444.

This is just one of a number of grants available to farmers at the moment. To find out how you can access funding speak to our specialist Grants and Funding team.