Norfolk contractor donates 40 tonnes of straw to help flood-hit farmers in Cumbria

Jonathan Cole (left) and Will Murphy of Cole Agriculture. The company is supplying 40 tonnes of stra

Jonathan Cole (left) and Will Murphy of Cole Agriculture. The company is supplying 40 tonnes of straw to flood-hit farmers in Cumbria. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk contractor has donated 40 tonnes of straw to help provide food and bedding for flood-hit livestock farms in Cumbria.

Cole Agriculture, based at Cranworth, near Shipdham, operates straw balers across East Anglia, supplying livestock farms and the biomass power industry.

But this week, it despatched two truck-loads of straw to the north of England, where the recent floods have left many farmers desperate for food and bedding for their animals.

The donation was arranged through Forage Aid, a charity supporting farmers whose livestock has been affected by extreme weather events.

Will Murphy, straw manager for Cole Agriculture, said: 'The farming community is very close-knit and very strong across the world. It is fortunate that someone has set up a network where we can get help to people in need very easily.

'They will be taking 120 bales. It is a product we have bailed and paid for, but we have enough straw to cope with our own demands, so we have got enough to give some away. We could use it next year, but if someone is in a muddle right now, and we can help them, then let's donate it.

'The hardest part is the haulage, so we will keep giving as long as people keep donating the haulage.'

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The donated straw has a market value of £1,400, with about £1,000 of haulage costs covered by Lincolnshire potato company Branston, which collected the bales on Thursday.

Cole Agriculture's managing director Jonathan Cole added: 'We all fall on hard timers and we should be able to rely on each other to help each other out. No-one takes any joy in seeing someone failing, so we try to help them in situations like this.

'We are all in a club, and the club is there to help people.

Forage Aid sources forage and bedding from donations and pledges from within the farming community, then distributes it to farmers whose own supply of feed has been destroyed or made inaccessible due to the weather. For more information see www.forageaid.org.uk.

Have you been affected by flooding? Contact chris.hill@archant.co.uk.