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Forage Aid Reacts To Dales Devastation

Friday, August 09, 2019

Little over a week has passed since the biblical rainfall in and around Reeth and a second visit by some of the Forage Aid trustees on Wednesday 7th August to attend the North Yorkshire Flood Drop in Session at Leyburn Auction Market showed that whilst the village is starting to clear up and the emergency relief teams move out, our farming colleagues still need and want our support.
 
We will all have seen footage on the news and social media, but seeing the damage with the naked eye brings the ferocity and devastation into sharp focus. With stock lost, miles of walls washed away, yards torn up, rivers banked up with boulders and stone as well as contaminated fields and lost forage the farmers in that small area of the country face a real battle to get fit again for the winter amongst other things. Despite that the farmers we have met are all up for the challenge that has been laid before them and have already started trying to get back on their feet. Our job is to lend them a helping hand to do that. Farmers helping farmers.
 
Supporting these farmers through the wider agricultural community is exactly why Forage Aid was set up. Our Trustees have been working very hard to make connections in the area and build relationships in an effort to work out what the affected businesses need by way of support. Andrew Ward visited on Saturday 3rd August and described what he saw as a ‘war zone’, however what became clear very quickly was that Forage Aid needed to help in 3 key areas:
 
  1. Help find a way to dispose of the damaged forage that littered the fields.
  2. Appeal for grazing for sheep to allow time to repair and reconstitute fields that were badly damaged or just unusable.
  3. Appeal for silage, haylage and hay to help replenish and fill stocks as we head into the winter.
 
The Trustees are pleased to report that following the further visit by Andrew and Neil Wilson on Wednesday 7th August alongside plenty of social media work that we are well on with all of these tasks. Following appeals on social media supported by lots of activity from our followers, you, our supporters, have helped us make terrific progress. So far we have:
 
  1. Identified a disposal site for damaged and contaminated forage.
  2. Identified an excellent storage hub nearby and continue our negotiations to secure this.
  3. Secured some grazing for sheep, but we still need more.
  4. Been delighted with the initial response after our call for donations for feed and forage.
 
This has been a great start, but we really need to ask you for more support and to spread the message further. We still require donations of:
 
  1. Forage, such as bales of silage, haylage or hay.
  2. Transport, preferably bulk at the moment to help remove damaged forage.
  3. Any other feedstock that may be useful.
 
We are also continuing to work with our farming colleagues and across the agencies with great support from NFU, Farmer Network, Princes Countryside Fund, FCN, RABI and Addington Fund.
 
If you can help in any way please get in touch through our website at www.forageaid.org.uk or via our Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/forage-aid.