As a Somerset business employing staff from different parts of the county, here at Webtogs we’re aware of the impact that flooding is having on the daily lives and long-term livelihoods of Somerset residents: none more so than the stricken farmers of the Levels. We’re also incredibly thankful to have escaped the worst effects ourselves. We awoke to the news today that floodwater has breached the flood defenses in the stricken village of Moorland, causing already high water levels to rise by a further metre overnight. At the last count 80 homes in the village have had to be evacuated, inundated by water contaminated with the contents of overflowed septic tanks, blocked drains and sewers. The stress of being evicted from their homes after more than a month of enduring uncertainty, isolation and dysfunctional utilities is almost unimaginable.
But some of the residents of Moorland and its surrounding countryside have not been able to evacuate in these terrible circumstances. Farmers, with the well-being of hundreds of livestock to consider, have been forced to arrange the evacuation of their animals as the waters continue to rise through their homes, barns and cowsheds. They have not been able to escape to safer areas; in the knowledge that to do so would be to risk sacrificing the animals they left behind, their livelihood, and their sole source of income to the flood. As you may have seen in the news, many farmers have had to evacuate herds of four to six hundred cattle, twenty at a time in trailers and trucks, through country lanes submerged beneath feet of water – a thankless task.
Now that large numbers of cattle have been relocated to safer, drier ground in the form of Sedgemoor Livestock Market, farmers have been presented with a new dilemma: feeding their animals. Thousands of tons of feed that the farmers had on their land have been destroyed, rotted by weeks of standing in water. The following page goes into more detail on the situation, accounts from farmers affected, and how you can help them: http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/06/02/2014/143167/flood-hit-farmers-how-you-can-help.htm
Well-wishers who can spare cattle feed in the form of strawlege or silege are being asked to contact Sedgemoor Livestock Market on 01278 410 278 to arrange delivery. For the rest of us who don’t have access to animal feed, cash donations can be made to support the stricken farmers via the Farming Community Network (FCN) JustGiving page. Donations should be marked “For Somerset Farmers.”
The web address for the Farming Community Network (FCN) JustGiving page for cash donations is: http://www.justgiving.com/fcn/donate
Farmers affected by the flooding, and unsure of where to turn for help are encouraged to call the Farming Help Partnership via the following link: http://www.farminghelp.org.uk/
Anything you can give will be hugely appreciated by the recipient farmers, most of whom are faced with the prospect of going out of business due to crippling debt accrued through last year’s flooding crisis, and similar ‘once in a hundred years’ floods last year. This is the largest and most long lasting flooding crisis we’ve experienced in the UK in recent decades – let’s band together to get through it.
Please join Webtogs in donating to those worst affected.