FARMERS across Worcestershire are to get extra support after they were hard hit by flooding over a wet winter in a move welcomed by a county MP.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has welcomed measures which will help farmers hit by flooding and extend the support being offered after the NFU raised concerns.

The Government has opened the Farming Recovery Fund for applications which will allow farmers to receive grants to return their land to normal after a series of exceptional flooding episodes since last October.

Some areas have had serious flooding six times and with water levels persistently high, farmers have struggled to plant winter crops and livestock have been kept inside for longer periods than usual.

The grants, will range between £500 and £25,000, and qualifying farmers will be contacted by the Rural Payments Agency.

Dame Harriett said: “We’ve had unprecedented amounts of rainfall this winter and many farmers across the county have been badly impacted by very wet land.

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“I am briefed that the Rural Payments Agency is planning to contact farmers who qualify for this support, but I have also been out and about in West Worcestershire helping to spread the word.

“Farming and food producers play a crucial role in our local economy and it is important that the Government steps up to offer support for businesses who have been affected by severe adverse weather conditions which are well beyond their control.”

It was announced on Tuesday that grants of between £500 and £25,000 under the Farming Recovery Fund would be paid to farmers hit by the damage from Storm Henk in early January.

The funding was designed to help farmers restore land to the condition it was in before heavy flooding due to Henk.

But originally only fields within 150 metres of a main river that had flooded were eligible for the compensation, leading to complaints from farmers.

Farming minister Mark Spencer said: “We want to make sure the Farming Recovery Fund offers the support farmers need to recover from uninsurable damage.

“It’s why we’ve immediately listened and responded to feedback on the launch of the initial phase of this scheme, fully removing the 150m limit.

“This means that farmers will be able to receive payments for all land parcels which are flooded contiguous to an eligible river.

“We’ll continue to listen to farmers and look at how we can expand the scheme and improve support for those affected.”