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Farmers send hay to help flood relief effort

Fencing contractor Richard Berry who took bales of hay to Sedgefield Livestock market to help flood-stricken Somerset farmers.

Fencing contractor Richard Berry who took bales of hay to Sedgefield Livestock market to help flood-stricken Somerset farmers.

 

A group of farmers have come together to help their counterparts in Somerset deal with the effects of devastating floods.

Bill and Jenny Martin, who run Walcot Lodge Farm in Fotheringhay, felt compelled to help the relief effort after seeing the damage caused to farms in the south west of the country.

Flooding in the Somereset Levels has left much of the county underwater and has forced many residents to abandon their homes.

On Friday the Martins sent out messages to a few friends asking for hay bales to send to stricken farmers to help them feed their animals.

And within hours they had been promised about 400 bales.

Jenny said: “We saw one farmer on the news who had lost everything. He had to move his whole herd because water had flooded everywhere.

“He was in tears and we just felt so helpless. We had about 15 bales spare and just thought ‘how can we get them down there?”

The Martins phoned several transport companies for help getting the bales to Somerset with no luck. But eventually they got an offer of help when they called Tesco.

On Monday the supermarket giant sent a lorry to Walcot Lodge Farm to pick up the bales and take them to Somerset free of charge.

Jenny hopes other farmers will join the relief effort. She said: “We have flooded in the past at the moment we are fine.

“They have lost everything, and when the floods are gone they will have no grass to feed their cattle.”

Another delivery was made later in the week.

Fencing contractor Richard Berry, from Yarwell, also decided to join the relief effort. He and friend Kevin Russell, from Colsterworth, took as many spare bales of hay as they could to Somerset on Sunday.

They dropped the bales at a market where there was a collection point.

Richard, who comes from a farming background, said: “The chap we spoke to was chuffed to bits. They really are in trouble down there.”

 

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