Devon’s Land Based College supports Somerset Flood Recovery
1st May 2014
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Bicton College’s Farm Manager, James Drury, sacrificed time this month to enable fellow farmer, James Winslade, from Somerset a rare opportunity to spend time with his young family for the first time since the floods struck the Somerset Levels in January. 

Bicton College offered support by drilling 53 acres of Spring Barley, giving their brand new Claas 640 Arion and Lemken drill their first outing since delivery just this month.  Commenting on his busy week, James Drury said, ‘The work we did for James gave him the chance to have Easter Sunday off - his first day off since the farm flooded in January.” 

Over ninety percent of the land farmed at Yeo Farm, Nr Moorland, was immersed in flood water.  A plea on Facebook led to a huge community effort attracting national press coverage which ensured that the farm’s 550 cows were evacuated to a safe location via a volunteer-lead convoy. 

The floods had a major impact on the farm which lost all forage, the winter sown crops and all temporary grass leys. In addition 4 tractors and all fixed items of machinery plus all of the stored grain, seeds and fertiliser were destroyed. 

With the flood now subsided, the problems caused by the water, which at its peak reached ten feet, have not ended.  

James Drury added, ‘Because of the flooding this was not a straight-forward job.  However, we adjusted settings on the tractor and drill accordingly and got the job done. I’m proud that Bicton College has been able to play a part in the huge effort that has gone into helping those affected by events at the beginning of the year.’ 

Problems for all farms affected by the flooding continue with feed reserves for next winter a major cause for concern.

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