The Farming Column with Sam Walton

Outside the far entrance of the farm.
Outside the far entrance of the farm.

With the seasons changing we are getting more rain in larger quantities, it seems that dyke and ditch clearance, or lack of it, is proving costly in flooding more areas than ever before.

We are spoiling the ship for a ha’porth of tar!

The ford at Lockington.

The ford at Lockington.

A bit like not serving a vehicle to save the expense.

Some of you will have heard of Sunk Island, some of the best soil in the UK and possibly in Europe.

It must be every farmer’s dream to have a farm there, or would it?

Every year their main drains were cleaned out by the old Skaggle Boat and the river Humber itself would be dredged.

Now it is going to have 250 acres of that prime land flooded by the Humber to prevent Hull as an example and surrounding areas from flooding. Why?

To take pressure off the Humber which itself is not dredged as it used to be.

The river Hull which was always a busy waterway with a shipyard in Beverley, Hodgson’s Tannery along with Barkers and Lee Smith Feed Mill, constantly plying barges up and down to Hull was also dredged, which meant that farm drains leading into the river could take the water away from the farms.

Look at it now.

Boats can only use that river at high tide.

That reflects back onto farms. Why?

Because of what I have mentioned, no maintenance of ditches, dykes or rivers.

If you dredge the river, you also increase the height of the banks with the silt.

Now with the rivers being half full of silt, there is nowhere for the water to go except over the top of the banks.

It was the Dutch who drained Sunk island in the 1600s.

If they were in charge of our drainage now, we would not have this fiasco as you probably know, the majority of Holland is below sea level!

Living in Lockington as I do, I well remember 2007 when the village was flooded.

Why? Because someone from the Environment Agency spotted a newt in the village stream which had previously been cleaned out every year and refused to have it done.

Says it all really as 15 houses were out of use for 18 months.