Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Farming Recovery Fund expanded

More funding to be made available for farmers affected across the whole of England.

Further support for farmers hit by flooding and exceptional wet weather over this winter was recently (Friday 24 May) made available as part of the Farming Recovery Fund, with £50 million to cover farms of all sizes across the country.   

The new eligibility criteria opens up the scheme to thousands more farmers who have suffered significant damage to their land as a result of prolonged and extreme wet weather and flooding, and will help support UK food security.  

Farmers whose land has been severely affected by flooding and wet weather, and who are likely to need to do work to remediate land to make it possible to farm it in future, will be eligible. Payments will be made this summer. 

The Farming Recovery Fund originally opened in April, providing grants between £500 – £25,000 for farmers to return their land to the condition it was in before flooding due to Storm Henk. Following feedback from farmers, the scheme was updated to remove the 150 metre limit on land flooded by a river, thus including all flooded land near to an eligible river.   

The scheme has now been significantly expanded to include a wider geographical area of farmers who suffered river flooding. It now also includes those who experienced damage due to extreme rainfall.   

Farmers whose land has been significantly damaged by water caused by flooding or exceptional rainfall this winter and spring will receive a payment to help cover the costs of bringing their land back into production. The Rural Payments Agency will identify farmers who are eligible for the payment and contact them with payments expected to be made to eligible farmers this summer.   

This is an exceptional, one-off intervention to respond to the exceptionally wet conditions affecting farming this winter and spring, and in the context of the agricultural transition. The government also is bringing forward the second instalment of this year’s delinked payment, which will now be paid from September, helping all farmers with cash flow following the impact of wet weather. This will follow the first instalment, which is due to be paid from 1 August.    

Recovery grants will help contribute to the costs of land remediation, including recultivation, soil remediation or the removal of debris and pollution. To keep the scheme straightforward and workable, Defra has based the payment rates on an assessment of average likely costs. Farmers will have flexibility to spend the grant appropriately in their context and will not have to provide evidence of damage or costs or make further claims.  

To identify eligible farmers, Defra will use mapping data to determine land close to rivers that has been flooded, in the counties most affected by flooding over this period. Defra will also use rainfall data to establish other areas across the country that have experienced exceptional rainfall (more than 70% higher than normal) over the period.  

Eligible farmers will receive the recovery grants from the RPA and will be contacted directly by RPA.  

Notes to Editors  

Farming Recovery Fund  

  • There will be a flat rate payment, set in bands according to farm size. The minimum payment amount will be £2,895, so all eligible farmers will receive at least that amount, up to a maximum of £25,000.   
  • Farmers already contacted by RPA and advised they are entitled to funding through the existing Storm Henk scheme will still be eligible as previously advertised and will receive at least the amount they’ve already been offered. They will receive payments based on the updated bands and minimum amount – RPA will be in contact with those farmers directly.  
  • There will be no exceptions process – only those farmers identified as eligible by RPA on the basis of data about flooding and / or rainfall in their locations will be eligible for payment.    

Further Support for Farmers     

The new funding, advance payments and flexibility for existing ELM agreements are in addition to support offered across existing farming schemes and funds including:   

  • The Sustainable Farming Incentive which rewards flood preparedness actions, helping businesses to become more resilient to the changing climate and challenging weather conditions;   
  • £75 million already announced to support internal drainage boards (IDB), which will accelerate recovery from the winter 2023 to 2024 storms and provide opportunities to modernise and upgrade assets that benefit and support resilience for farms and rural communities in the long term.  
  • Temporary adjustments for farmers and land managers where the wet weather has led to difficulties carrying out the requirements of the Environmental Land Management Schemes. If bad weather caused disruptions to farming activities or affected farmers’ ability to meet the mandatory requirements set out in the scheme agreements, the adjustments allow more time to establish or defer some activity to later in the year.  
  • Our expanded range of paid actions in SFI and Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier, along with our range of grants, include payments for farmers to help them invest in water management and flood and drought resilience for the long term. These were set out in our Agricultural Transition Plan update in January 2024, and details of this year’s expanded SFI offer were published earlier this week.


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