Wotton farmers unite to help flooded Somerset counterparts

Gazette Series: Ian Pullen and some of his haybales at Bradley Farm near Wotton-under-Edge (3949710) Ian Pullen and some of his haybales at Bradley Farm near Wotton-under-Edge (3949710)

WOTTON farmers are rallying to help their counterparts in the flood-devastated Somerset Levels.

Farmers in Gloucestershire are sending hay, straw and silage to livestock farmers who are running out of feed.

Cattle on the Levels would usually be grazing on fields which are now under water.

Ian Pullen, who runs a tree management firm out of Bradley Farm, floated the idea of sending a truckload of supplies on Facebook and was thrilled with the positive response from the community.

The Wotton-under-Edge farmer is sending 20 large round bales of hay – valued at around £300 – plus some silage to help those whose farms and feed are currently knee-deep in water.

“We had more than we needed this year and I could either let it sit and waste or let someone else use it,” Mr Pullen explained. “Hopefully we’ll do our bit.”

And fellow farmers felt compelled to help, with Mr Pullen’s neighbour offering 20 huge bales of straw and Anne Hardy from Nympsfield donating 10 bags of silage.

What started out as one truckload looks set to fill two, with Wotton driver Stewart Owen offering up his lorry, time and petrol costs for the 100-mile journey free of charge.

The donations are destined for an auctioneers near Bridgwater which has become the central co-ordination point for deliveries from across the country.

Mr Pullen is hoping to send the first load to Sedgemoor market by the weekend, with another going the following week.

He joins farmers and drivers across the country who have lent a hand in the relief efforts.

“The response to the crisis has been countrywide," he said. “It’s all very well feeling sorry for them down there but we all need to do something to help."

And it’s not even going to be over once the flood waters recede.

“Then there will be the clear up,” he explained. “The soil will be drained. All the worms, microbes and bacteria in the soil will be dead, as they all need air.

“It will take years for the land to recover.”

To donate agricultural supplies, contact Mr Pullen on 07973 257970. Financial donations can be directed to the Somerset Community Foundation at www.somersetcf.org.uk

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