A LOCAL Council is encouraging local farmers affected by recent flooding to bid for a Government grant of up to £35,000 to alleviate the effect of damage to their land.

Individual bids for up to £5,000 were available to farmers through the Farmer’s Flood Recovery Fund to support them following the recent bad weather but yesterday it was announced by the government that this has been increased to £35,000. More details are available on the Farming Flood Recovery Fun can be found at the DEFRA website at www.gov.uk/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs The increased fund will be available to apply for from April 28. Farmers who previously applied for the initial £5,000 will also be able to apply for the increased amount.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, visited Wiltshire Council this week (April 15) to hear about the impact the flooding caused in the county and the work being carried out by the council and its partners to try and alleviate flooding in the future. He is due to return to Wiltshire Council on April 28 to discuss flooding issues further. Jonathon Seed, cabinet member responsible for flood alleviation, said: “We want to let as many farmers as possible know about this grant which could be vital to help them recover from the devastating effect of the recent flooding. The Secretary of State wanted to emphasise that applying for grants for damage such as re-fencing and reseeding made necessary by flooding is being made simple and straightforward by DEFRA. "We are proud of this county's rural landscape and this is a timely boost to support our farmers after a difficult winter and to help them as much as possible."