[F]armers who have suffered catastrophic losses when the Beast from the East hit parts of our county are being encouraged to apply for funding before it’s too late.
The Storm Emma Relief Fund was set up thanks to donations from the herdyfund and Cumbria Community Foundation to relieve household hardship after the devastating snow and wind conditions experienced in late February/early March.
Farms and communities particularly on the eastern side of Cumbria were very badly affected with sheep buried in snow drifts, uncollected milk and damage to field boundaries. Additional costs faced by farmers have included the cost of carcass collection, uninsured losses of livestock and higher lamb losses from ewes that spent many days under snow drifts.
The fund is administered by the Farmer Network. Adam Day, Managing Director, said: “So far, we have received 68 applications with awards typically between £250 and £500. All farmers have had a difficult winter, but some farms were very badly affected by Storm Emma – we have spoken to farmers who in some cases lost over 100 sheep in snow drifts and have over 50 metres of damage to walls. This fund was not intended to offer compensation but is in recognition of the hardship faced by these farming households.”
The Farmer Network is now calling for farmers who have not yet applied to the fund and were badly affected to contact them before the final deadline for applications of Friday 11th May. The application form is completed over the phone and the number to call is 0168 868615.
Spencer Hannah of the Herdyfund, said: “As advocates for Cumbria’s farming and rural communities it was important to us that herdyfund supported this appeal. I would encourage any farmers affected to apply and the very fact that so many have already successfully done so shows that while the sums aren’t huge they can make a positive difference.”
An initial £10,000 donation provided by the herdyfund has been added to by The Prince’s Countryside Fund who have helped cover the administration costs of the Farmer Network, thereby ensuring as much money as possible goes to affected communities. The fund has also received financial support from Carr’s Group and individual donations.
If you are not a farmer but have suffered hardship, please contact Gary Higgs at Cumbria Community Foundation on 01900 825760.