Rural Payments Agency
There were two extreme rainfall events that occurred in the UK in June and July 2019. The Environment Agency has provided evidence that in both instances a flood incident occurred as a result of significant rainfall and based on this evidence the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recognises that the affected areas have suffered a natural disaster within the meaning of EU Regulation (EU) 702/2014.
Two and half times the monthly average rainfall fell in the Lincolnshire area over three days. Between 10 and 12 June 2019, there was 130mm of rain over the area. The rainfall was a significant amount over such a very short period of time, almost double the 68mm of rain in 2007 (2007 is a notable year for river flooding in Lincolnshire). This led to a greater volume of water running off the Wolds which exceeded the storage capacity of the River Steeping and resulted in the system being overwhelmed. A flood relief channel was overtopped resulting in a breach in the channel defence and flooding to adjacent land. 59 properties were flooded in Wainfleet, as well as 59 other properties across the rest of the area.
On 30 July 2019, a line of storms stretching from Malham to Ripon in Yorkshire developed in the early afternoon and moved north westerly as the afternoon progressed. Reeth and the Arkle Beck were located in the centre of this storm cell which persisted for a number of hours. In 3 hours there was 112 mm of rainfall leading to exceptional flooding. This is twice the average total rainfall for July and rainfall of this magnitude a 1 in 1000 years event. All local watercourses responded to the rainfall. The rainfall caused a number of landslips onto roads and a bridge suffered serious damage, as well as flooding to farmland within specific areas of North Yorkshire. Initial reports are 30 confirmed flooded properties and up to 90 properties potentially flooded. The Fire and Rescue Service effected 6 water rescues.
The UK Government has committed to providing 2m of assistance to the farmers whose assets suffered damage directly caused by either of these two events. Financial assistance will be made available within the scope of Article 30 and the general conditions of the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (EU) 702/2014. The assistance that will be provided covers non-insurable items such as re-cultivation, reseeding and removing debris from agricultural land and reinstating field boundaries.
The works will be funded up to 100% with a minimum grant level of 500 and a maximum grant level of 25,000. The works will be a reinstatement and repair in line with the economic value of the affected asset. The scheme has 3 types of funding, quoted costs where 3 quotes will confirm the market value for the work, reference costs which is a maximum paid for the works, with maximum value being pre-assessed using industry standards and standard costs, based on a set price for the job using the benchmark of the EU Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
The scheme will involve an application process where farmers who are based in the relevant geographical area, provide photographs and maps to show the impact of the events on their agricultural land. The Rural Payments Agency, on behalf of DEFRA, will administer the scheme, assessing the applications for eligibility, issuing a grant funding agreement, processing claims for payment and checking supporting evidence to ensure the work has been completed in line with scheme requirements and then undertaking a number of site inspections to verify works.