Flood-hit farms given £5,000 government grant

The Government has announced rural homes and businesses damaged by the floods will have access to one-off grants up to £5,000 to make them more resilient. The Environment Agency has again warned that it cannot protect all people and all properties.

58% of Britain's best farming land at risk from flooding

The head of National Farmers' Union said a "major rethink" was needed in how flood defence spending was allocated.

"We must stop sacrificing our productive farmland to crazy, rampant and thoughtless urbanisation," Peter Kendall said at a conference.

Around 6,500 properties were flooded in the recent months Credit: TN/AztecMedia Skycam

Mr Kendall said: "58% of our most productive land sits below the 5m contour line and it is at risk from flooding. Policy makers simply have to put higher value on it."

He said that while farmland can and should in extreme circumstances act as a temporary buffer for water to protect people's lives and homes, it shouldn't be viewed as a long-term storage facility. "It's primary job is to feed this country," he added.

Read: Flood-hit farms given £5,000 government grant

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Somerset farmer: Floods clean-up will be 'dreadful'

James Hall, a farmer previously featured on ITV News, says the water levels at his farm are improving but the extent of the damage is becoming more apparent.

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The levels are continuing to drop at a steady pace, the damage in my parents house is not looking good, large cracks are now showing.

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@angebg thank you, this water has caused so much damage, the clean up is going to be dreadful and upsetting..

Read: Government announces £5,000 grant for each flood-hit farm

Watch: Floods caused '£20,000 in damages' says Somerset farmer

Govt: Business rate payment 'delayed' for flood victims

George Eustice
George Eustice said flood hit businesses would be not be expected to pay business rates within the usual time frame. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

The Government has offered help "to all businesses who have been affected by floods", the farming minister has told Daybreak.

George Eustice said the Government had delayed "the payment of business rates" and "have asked HMRC to be lenient on businesses".

Experts call for more to be done to manage flood risk

Climate experts have called for more to be done to manage Britain's flood risk after the Environment Agency warned that they cannot protect all people and properties.

Britain was severely hit by storms and floods this winter. Credit: PA Wire

Professor Jim Hall, director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford said major lessons had been learnt since the 2007 floods, but said the UK still seemed to be in a mode of "discovery by disaster".

He called for a package of measures to be adopted to manage flood risk but said we had to admit "we cannot prevent against every risk".

Professor Roger Falconer, director of the Hydro-environmental Research Centre at Cardiff University, said he hoped to see more engineers involved in work to prevent and reduce the impact of flooding.

Read: Egham residents describe devastating impact of the floods

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EA 'can't protect all people and properties' from floods

The Environment Agency cannot protect all people and properties but will do what it can, a senior executive at the organisation has said.

Parts of the UK have been severely affected by storms this winter with around 6,500 properties flooded.

The Somerset Levels was left devastated by recent floods. Credit: PA Wire

The Met Office revealed that the UK had suffered its wettest winter since records began last week.

David Rooke, the executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the agency, said the wet conditions would continue this week but the agency would try and reduce the impact.

"We have got high tides this week and rainfall. The Environment Agency is still in operation mode doing all we can to minimise risk. We cannot protect all people and all properties but we will do all we can," he said, adding that the agency had protected more than 1.3 million homes.

Read: Aerial images show UK's altered landscape after floods