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The rural landowners’ organization has stated that farmers and rural communities are bearing the brunt of flooding due to the Environment Agency’s inadequate management over the years.
The UK has experienced flooding from the second storm, Ciaran, within a two-week period. The Met Office has warned of heavy rain with yellow alerts in place for the south of England, Wales, north-east England, and Scotland.
The Environment Agency has issued 77 flood warnings, indicating potential danger to properties, particularly along the southern coast.
The CLA is urging the Government to provide more assistance to farmers and landowners, stating that their land is being used to protect downstream houses and villages.
Tim Bamford, the regional director, stated that flooding can greatly affect agriculture and the rural areas, resulting in damaged crops and isolated communities.
Due to inadequate resources and mismanagement by the Environment Agency, waterways and flood defenses have suffered for many years. As a result, farmers continue to bear the brunt of the destructive consequences of flooding.
Landowners do not receive any compensation when the Environment Agency intentionally floods their fields in order to protect houses and villages downstream, even though this causes damage to their crops and means of making a living.
When farmers try to use methods to prevent floods, they encounter long waits for approval and expensive fees, resulting in a no-win scenario.
Farmers are eager to address the climate crisis, however, they are facing setbacks due to government delays in addressing planning issues and inadequate compensation for storing floodwater. As a result, farmers are bearing the burden of problems that were not caused by them.
Globally, agriculture plays a major role in producing greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere. In fact, it accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world’s total emissions and is second only to the energy sector in terms of its impact.
As the temperature on Earth increases, there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of storms and heavy downpours in the UK. This is due to a warmer atmosphere being able to hold more moisture, resulting in a greater amount of precipitation accumulating in clouds.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), half of the impact of agriculture on climate change can be attributed to methane and nitrous oxide emissions produced on farms. The remaining half is caused by deforestation and other land use changes, which prevent the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The CLA has requested assistance, following a public message from the National Farmers’ Union following Storm Babet. The Government should guarantee that farmers receive fair compensation for flood damage to their fields.
They are seeking revisions to the flood protection funding to ensure that rural areas are not at a disadvantage due to their smaller population size compared to urban areas.
According to wildlife experts and environmental groups, restoring wetlands and woodlands in the UK could help mitigate the effects of flooding by slowing down the flow of water throughout the landscape.
The Wildlife Trusts reports that nearly 90% of England’s wetland habitats have been lost in the past century, primarily due to unsustainable agricultural practices, development, and water extraction.
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been reached out to for a statement.