Flood barrier cash hopes

Stafford Proctor checks out the farm machinery at the Lincolnshire Show. ANL-150625-201154001
Stafford Proctor checks out the farm machinery at the Lincolnshire Show. ANL-150625-201154001
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Farmers along the Wash are hopeful they will soon get the cash needed to protect valuable arable land, communities and businesses from flooding.

Stafford Proctor, chairman of the Wash Frontage Group, was spreading the good news at the Lincolnshire Show.

Few will forget the destructive tidal surge of December 2013 which left around 200 people in Boston in temporary accommodation and livelihoods lost.

Others may not have been flooded, but feared they might not be so lucky should a similar tidal surge happen again.

John Grimwood, parish council chairman at Sutton Bridge, said: “I stood on the riverbank and it frightened me.

“I have never seen it as high as that. You couldn’t stand on the riverbank without getting your feet wet.”

In March this year, Sutton Bridge was told it would have to wait for improvements to its flood defences because the village is not included in the Government’s latest plans.

However, the Wash Frontage Group has been pressing the Environment Agency for cash to improve flood defences, with contributions from farmers and landowners who will benefit from the land being protected.

Mr Proctor, who has farms in Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge, said: “We hope to have an answer in August and it’s looking positive.

“The plan for a flood barrier will protect farmers and rural communities and prevent the over-topping which caused the flood in Boston.

“Coming to the Lincolnshire Show has been an ideal opportunity to spread the word.

“We are going through a volatile time farming with prices of crops.

“As a Group we are unable to spend much money, but we can offer the farmers support.”