Methwold farming family raise concerns with water reforms

MP Elizabeth Truss visitng the farm Methwold. Followingan Article in Farmers weekly. ANL-150627-214002009
MP Elizabeth Truss visitng the farm Methwold. Followingan Article in Farmers weekly. ANL-150627-214002009
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A farming family were able to raise issues with plans to reform water abstraction rules with Government minister Elizabeth Truss.

The Wortley family welcomed the minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to Holmebrink Farm in Methwold.

The Government is currently looking to reform the water abstraction system to meet future needs.

The current licensing system has been in place since the 1960s and the Government is looking to introduce new tradable licences.

But farmers are concerned that a change could see a reduction in the amount of water which could be taken from rivers during peak times to irrigate crops.

Farm manager Peter Wortley, who is also a member of the Wissey Abstraction Group, was pleased with the visit from the South West Norfolk MP.

He said: “The reforms are a long-term concern about the availability of water during peak times.

“We were glad that Ms Truss listened to our concerns and it was nice to have someone of importance take notice of our businesses.”

Ms Truss also looked around the farm.

The Wortley family farm 3,400 acres of potatoes, wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet and barley.

The farm’s irrigation consumption during summer periods has been reduced thanks to its six reservoirs, which store water abstracted during winter.

Mr Wortley said: “Irrigation technology has moved on a long way during the last 10 to 15 years.”