Somerset floods: Hope for farmers as Royal Bath and West Society launches fund (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Somerset floods: Hope for farmers as Royal Bath and West Society launches fund
FARMERS affected by the Somerset flooding crisis will receive help to get back on their feet when water levels drop.
A Somerset Farmers' Fund has been set up by the Royal Bath and West Society and will run alongside the Somerset Emergency Flood Relief Fund Appeal.
Edwin White, chairman of the Society’s agricultural policy group, said the move is as a result of people wanting to give money to help the farming community once they return to their land.
He said: “It is about Somerset and its communities helping itself.
"The land will take time to recover from the floods and that will bring its own hardship. The Society has always been here to help the farming community and this will continue following the recent tragic events."
The Society is liaising weekly with the other charities but chief executive Jane Guise has warned it will be no "quick fix."
She added: "We have seen the most wonderful response to appeals for emergency relief and all the charities are talking weekly to ensure there isn’t a crossover and money is going to where it is needed.
"Now we as the Society are looking to the medium term following a request from farmers and our members to help those who need to get their businesses back off the ground.
"It won’t be a quick fix - If the grass grows and it is still under water, the water will kill the grass. There will be nothing to make forage and this could go on for the next year.
"The Somerset Farmers’ Fund is not emergency relief, it is for the medium term once the water recedes and has come about at the request of the Somerset agricultural businesses."
The Somerset Farmers’ Regeneration Fund will run alongside the Society’s Somerset Levels Relief Fund launched six months ago by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis to tackle the long term needs of the area.
To donate to the long-term plan, or to the Famer’s Regeneration Fund: cheques should be made payable to RBW Somerset Levels Relief Fund and marked either ‘Water Management’ or ‘Farmer’s Fund’ c/o The Royal Bath and West of England Society, The Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN
Alternatively, call 01749-822200 or visit www.bathandwest.com and clicking the online link.