A short report from John Varley on the recent floods in Devon
It has been a busy fortnight since some of the worst flooding seen for many years caused devastation across Devon. The Estate is working with residential and business tenants affected by the floods to help them recover from the impact of the flooding as quickly as possible.
Our in-hand and tenanted farmland has suffered twice in less than six months and crops and livestock were again put at risk. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Clinton Farms team the impact on farm property, equipment and livestock was minimised. Many worked through the night to move sheep, cows and calves and protect property. Our thanks also to all members of the Estate team, tenants and friends who helped protect property throughout the flooding.
Last week, in my role as national Board Member for the Environment Agency I accompanied Defra Secretary of State, Owen Paterson on the Monday as he visited Kennford and also hosted Prime Minister, David Cameron, on his visit to Buckfastleigh on Tuesday. On Thursday Lord and Lady Clinton and myself visited areas of the Estate affected by flooding and met many residential and commercial tenants affected.
A meeting took place on Tuesday 4th December with hydrological consultant Nick Haycock to re-visit the 2010 proposals to implement measures to improve the flow and capacity of the Lower River Otter, including reducing the impact of flooding. Whilst the schemes identified might cost upwards of £3 million, the Estate still feels that a serious dialogue on what options might be available to respond to both volatile weather patterns and climate change needs to commence over the coming months.