Farmers seek flood solution

Farmers are calling for an overhaul of river management.
Farmers are calling for an overhaul of river management.

Farming leaders have held what they described as a “constructive meeting” in the North-east over flooding issues.

More than 80 farmers attended the ‘summit’ organised by NFU Scotland with Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Aberdeenshire Council to discuss the recent flooding of farmland.

Discussions described as “good” between all parties took place at Thainstone last Friday and it was agreed that a solution is needed for water course river management to avoid extensive issues that have been seen in recent weeks in the area happening again.

Farmers have blamed outdated regulations which prevent the proper management of rivers for the floods which devastated many parts of the North-east earlier in the year and in December.

The meeting was chaired by NFU Scotland’s regional board chairman for the North-east Roddy Catto who recognised that farmers and landowners need some direction on the remedial measures they can take with pressure required to be put on the Scottish Government and politicians to provide better management of rivers.

Mr Catto said: “The meeting went well and the high attendance showed the strength of the feeling within the North-east about this problem.

“The speakers proved helpful and were open and frank, and we thank them for that.

“Going forward there was dedication to a change in attitude following the recent floods that we need to all work together.”

He added: “We know that for those on the ground their hands are tied and that the relaxation of rules has got to come from the Scottish Government with politicians pushing hard for better management of rivers.

“Further meetings are to be organised with the parties involved to take the issues forward.”

NFU Scotland leaders recently accused government officials of failing to grasp the severity of cash-flow problems currently being experienced on farms.