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East’s farming community comes to aid of flood victims

PUBLISHED: 18:41 13 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:41 13 February 2014

The rain abates and the sun shines on the Somerset Levels near Burrow Bridge

The rain abates and the sun shines on the Somerset Levels near Burrow Bridge

Kind-hearted East Anglian farming groups have rallied to the aid of Somerset’s stricken farmers.

Suffolk and Essex Young Farmers are among those offering aid. Suffolk county organiser Tory Lugsden said they had been moved by Somerset members’ descriptions of the chaos and heart-break they face and felt they had to act.

Suffolk Young Farmers is appealing for support from members, supporters and the farming community for donations of hay, straw, haylage, silage, feed and cake. Three collection points have been set up and deliveries are being co-ordinated to the collection points via the Suffolk Young Farmers office on 01473 785547 or office@suffolkyfc.com.

Essex Young Farmers’ Forage Aid team led by vice county-chairman Ed Ford, has been collecting forage donated by Essex Farmers for the past few days, and is doing a big collection today, with Young Farmers collecting all donations, ready to be sent on to the Sedgemore Auction Centre, where it will be distributed to farmers who are in urgent need of help.

Supporters have donated a mixture of forage to be sent down to Somerset, and Essex Young Farmers have also used all the profits from their New Year’s Eve party to buy a lorry load of hay, at trade price.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Eastern Regional Director Nicola Currie said: “The farming community has rallied, as it always does, to help those affected by a crisis.”

Among the charities helping are: The Prince’s Countryside Fund (http://princescountrysidefund.org.uk/), the Farming Community Network webpage at Just Giving (www.justgiving.com/fcn/donate) and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution on helpline number 0300 303 7373.

“If you can offer forage, contact Sedgemoor Auction Market on 01278 410 278 or Andrew Ward, initiator of ‘Forage Aid’ who is helping to coordinate transport, via Twitter using his @wheat_daddy handle.

Essex Young Farmers’ would like to thank everyone who has very generously donated to the Forage Aid effort so far. If you would like to make a donation and are in the East Anglia region, please contact vice county chairman Ed Ford on: 07885 911068 or email: ef@childerditch.com.

You can also follow the Forage Aid effort on Twitter with the hashtag #ForageAid

The Orwell Bridge has reopened this morning after 80mph winds battered Suffolk and brought its closure.

Body positivity is a term that is bandied about a lot at the moment and that can make it sound flippant, unimportant and self indulgent, writes Kate Dickinson.

Major traffic disruption and storm damage is being reported across the region today as gusts of up to 80mph were recorded in Suffolk and north Essex.

An MP has told parliament 20 people died in instances when ambulances arrived late to emergencies in East Anglia during a spell of intense pressure over the Christmas period.

A teacher training scheme in Colchester which works with dozens of schools in the area has been rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

Across Suffolk, dozens of bands, singers, solo acts, choirs and orchestras ply their trade on evenings and weekends as part of the county’s eclectic night time economy.

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