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“Forage Aid helped me through a very tough time.”

Doug Barningham lives with his wife Nicola and three children in Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire, on a farm that’s been in his family for at least three generations. Following terrible flooding in July and August 2019 Forage Aid helped them along the long road towards getting the farm back on its feet.

What lead to you getting in touch with Forage Aid, Doug?
We run a mixed farm with a small herd of suckler cows and sheep high in the Yorkshire Dales, and when the flooding hit we lost 300 bales of silage which we needed to get through the winter. It was all either washed away and spread down the valley or very badly damaged.
There was national media coverage of what had happened, which led to Andrew Ward from Forage Aid visiting the area – and he offered us some help, which was just amazing.

What did Forage Aid offer to do?
The first thing Andrew said was: ‘Forage Aid is here to help. We have farmers across the country willing to donate whatever you need.’
Forage Aid sourced and arranged for delivery of all the silage and haylage we needed over the following winter. The first lot arrived in November and we had a few more deliveries after that. It came from all over I think – from South Yorkshire, Durham, and further afield.

Was it easy to get this help arranged?
It was very straightforward, and no problem at all. Not only did Forage Aid source the silage, they arranged for free haulage too, thanks to companies and people including Arla UK, Peacocks of Thirsk and Paul Winder of A Winder & Son, Ravenstonedale.
There’s so much to deal with after a disaster like this. We lost 120 sheep to drowning, and there was damage to machinery and buildings including our home. To have someone say they can just take care of something like this made such a difference.

Did Forage Aid help with anything else?
Forage Aid also helped me remove a number of damaged sileage bales, which we were extremely grateful for. This was achieved by JCB donating two Fastrac tractors and a Telehandler, and Bailey Trailers and Ripon Farm Services donating two 16 tonne trailers. I found some drivers, and Forage Aid paid their wages. They were just tremendous in what they did – it was such a terrible time but they were able to save us a lot of stress, as well as time and money.

How are things now at Home Farm?
We’re not too bad – we’re getting there. There’s just 200m of drystone walling to repair! We’re nearly back on our feet, thanks to all the people who helped us, and not least Forage Aid. It was such a relief. The help they offered and expertise was second to none.

Read more about the 2019 floods in this area:

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