Archbishop Calls for Donations to Fund Flood-Hit Farmers
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has joined the Prince of Wales in supporting an appeal fund for farmers hit by recent floods.
The ARC-Addington Fund, which was originally launched in 2001 to help farmers affected by the foot and mouth crisis, will support those farmers whose crops or livestock have been ruined by the June floods.
The Archbishop is to ask those gathered at the General Synod in York to make a collective donation to the fund to help flood-affected farmers. The fund has already received a donation from the Prince of Wales.
The Archbishop's appeal has also been backed by the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, who Chairs the Church of England's Panel of Rural Bishops. Bishop Priddis will attend the opening of the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate on Tuesday where he will tell farmers more about the fund.
Dr Sentamu said: "The hardship fund aims to give small amounts that other people are not able to give, but that are really needed to sustain the farm business.
"The full personal and financial impact of the floods will not be known for some time. However the immediate impact of the floods has already caused significant misery for many farmers."
Around 600 sheep are believed to have drowned in one farm in South-East Staffordshire, while 350 were lost on a farm in Tamworth.
In the village of Wilberfoss, which lies within the Archbishop of York's own diocese, 50 outdoor pigs drowned when the river rose before the farmer could remove them.
Both big and small farmers have been affected, Dr Sentamu said, and crop damage is also widespread. In Herefordshire one farmer lost his potato crop covering 125 acres, while in Shropshire a small holding farmer lost two-thirds of his potato crop across 30 acres.
"We know there is a desire to help out there," he said
The ARC-Addington Fund was set up by the Arthur Rank Centre, the churches rural resources centre, and will provide a package of pastoral support and hardship payments to any farmers who have been adversely affected by the recent floods.
Working with Farming Help Partners, Farm Crisis Network and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the ARC-Addington Fund will offer small hardship payments to farmers on a case by case basis.
The fund is particularly keen to support farmers who were not able to insure their crops and livestock before the floods hit.
Farmers can call the Farming Help Partnership on 07002 326 326 for more information.