18 NOV 2016

Farm wetlands scheme gives new hope to Yalding flood victims

Helen Grant to bring Secretary of State to visit in the New Year

A Kent farmer working with Kent County Council has started a new initiative to to create a 4 acre 'wetland' to store and hold-back up to 15 million litres of flood water.

It is hoped the earthworks will help delay one of the flows that threaten the village of Yalding and the surrounding areas that were so badly flooded three years ago.

The RSPB were also involved in the design to create a marvellous year round habitat for wildlife and water fowl.

Visiting the site as work was getting underway this week local MP Helen Grant said 'This is precisely the type of scheme we have been looking for and I congratulate farmer Peter Hall and Louise Smith from Kent County Council for creating a wonderful idea and then making it a reality. If we can get other land owners to follow suit they may just be able to make a significant difference to the flooding problem here in the Low Weald'.

Mrs Grant then announced that she will be hosting a visit to Maidstone & The Weald by Andrea Leadsome, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the New Year when she intends to seek central government support for a roll-out of wetland schemes further afield.

Farmer Peter Hall said 'This is such a win-win for everyone. A piece of land that is difficult to farm is now being used for the wider public interest to help with the flooding problem, and as a fantastic environmental feature. It is a low-tech, low cost, low maintenance project and helps achieve our 'greening' objectives under the Common Agricultural Policy'.

The scheme includes the restoration of historic ditches and drainage systems that have been in use for centuries and the overall cost is expected to be less than £25,000, most of which has been funded by KCC.

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