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CLA calls for flooding fund to open after 1 of the wettest years on record

A scheme to support flood hit farmers must open as soon as possible, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has urged, after 1 of the wettest and stormiest winters in decades.

As spring blooms and lambing continues across the North and beyond, thousands of acres of prime food producing land remain submerged or waterlogged, following months of relentless rainfall and the wettest 12 month period in 150 years.

February was the 4th wettest since records began in 1871, in England, with a rainfall total of 130mm representing 225% of the:- 1961 to 1990, long term average, and there have been 10 named storms in recent months.

Some winter crops did not get planted, while others have been washed away, with conditions so poor many are already fearing for harvest this year. Most of the losses are uninsurable.

After storm Henk in early January the Government announced that farmers who had suffered uninsurable damage to their land from that storm would be able to apply for grants of up to £25,000 through the Farming Recovery Fund.

But the fund is still not open, 3 months later, and the CLA is calling for urgent action.

Acting CLA Director North, Henk Geertsema, said:- "The fund is welcome, but farmers need help right now and it must open as soon as possible. The impact of flooding on farm businesses up and down the country is profound, damaging infrastructure such as fencing and walls, contaminating soil and jeopardising environmental projects. Crops and livestock have been badly affected, and any reduction in domestic food production may lead to an increase in imports and prices. Farmers are dynamic and forward-thinking and are used to working with extreme weather, but the last few months have been especially difficult. The winter rainfall is pushing businesses to their limit and many fear for this entire cropping season."

Landowners don't receive compensation when the Environment Agency effectively floods their fields to protect downstream houses and villages, despite the harm to their crops and livelihoods, and the CLA is calling for more support to repair the damage.

Henk added:- "Years of poor management of watercourses and flood defences by the Environment Agency, often caused by lack of resources, means farmers are still unfairly shouldering the burden of flooding devaStation. Farming businesses are willing to help protect homes and businesses from flooding by storing floodwater, but in turn there should be recognition of the added burdens on farmers with appropriate compensation."

Huge Seaside Weekender in Southport

THE line up has been announced for the huge Seaside Weekender in Southport this June when this epic 3 day festival comes to Victoria Park, Southport, on the weekend from:- Friday, 7 June to Sunday, 9 June 2024.

Now in its fourth year, Seaside Weekender is Southport's biggest festival; with tens of thousands attending over 3 days and featuring huge headliners, food trucks, stalls, visuals, confetti cannons, entertainers, giveaways, and more. The festival is of exceptional value too, with day tickets from as little as £10 and weekend tickets from just £40!

Seaside Weekender kicks off from:- 4 pm, on:- Friday, 7 June 2024, with the Funk and Soul Festival; featuring some of the best funk, soul and disco DJs in the world. The eye watering line up consists of:- 'Craig Charles,' 'Greg Wilson', 'Fat Tony,' 'Norman Jay,' 'Huey Morgan' and 'Mark Lower,' performing alongside a host of talent including:- local legends Robbie Williams, Sie Austin, Ant Chandler, Jimmy Allen, Dave Graham, and others.

As ever, the Saturday is all about Save The Rave; an all day 90s rave extravaganza! This year's mammoth line up includes:- 'K Klass,' 'Livin Joy,' 'Lee Butler,' 'Seb Fontaine,' 'Anton Powers,' 'Graeme Park,' 'Ultrabeat,' 'N Trance' and many more! The UK's biggest outdoor 90s festival is never short of spectacular and this year's line up certainly suggests the same for 2024!

The Sunday's Look-A-Like Tribute Festival is a more family friendly event and features some of the best tribute acts in the UK playing music from the likes of:- 'The Beatles,' 'Fleetwood Mac,' 'ABBA,' 'Oasis, David Bowie' and 'Queen.' A jam packed line up of popular music, there's something for everyone and super cheap early bird tickets are available from just £10!

Organiser James Daly from July Concerts said:- "We're now in our 4th year and the Seaside Weekender keeps going from strength to strength. Each year keeps on getting better, with more and more in attendance, and 2024 might well be our biggest festival yet. Certainly, in terms of the line up, we have some huge names; it's going to be a really special weekend. We aim to showcase the very best acts and put on an incredible festival with something for everyone; all at a really affordable price. We've once again kept the ticket prices low and affordable, with monthly payment plans available too, as we know it's been tough for people financially. It's such good value and that's something we're proud of."

Seaside Weekender comes to:- Victoria Park, in Southport, Merseyside, from:- Friday, 7 June 2024, with:- 'Funk and Soul,' followed by:- 'Save The Rave' on:- Saturday, 8 June 2024, and 'Look A Like Tribute Festival' on:- Sunday, 9 June 2024. The festival features:- huge headliners, food trucks, stalls, visuals, confetti cannons, entertainers, giveaways, and more.

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