Farmers are at the frontline when severe weather strikes and are often all too experienced at dealing with snow, ice and flooding. However, as the snows of March 2013 demonstrated some weather events can still have devastating impacts on some producers. The information and links below have been put together to help farmers think about how they might improve their resilience this winter.
Like any business owner, farmers can benefit from taking action to protect the most 'at risk' and/ or profitable parts of their business before any severe weather hits. Ready Scotland provides a checklist for 'Preparing the Farm for Winter'.
In 2010, agriculture became the most dangerous industry in the country, based on fatalities per worker. Find out more about safe systems of work within all sectors of the industry at the Farm Safety Partnership website.
Defra provides important guidance on protecting animal welfare in severe weather along with links to other important sources of help and information, such as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
For more general queries, please contact the Defra helpline on 08459 33 55 77
In Wales your first port of call should be your local farm liaison team
Caernarfon - 01286 674144
Carmarthen - 01267 225300
Llandrindod Wells - 01597 823777
This is a fully funded service to provide, one-to-one support for Welsh farmers.
And for the latest agricultural and rural affairs information, including farming connect events.
Farmers are a valued part of rural communities and often act as a fourth emergency service when things go wrong, but you may also find that your neighbours are able to help you when you need it too. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for emergencies as a community which will help you to recover more quickly when severe weather strikes. You could put together an emergency telephone tree during an evening at your local pub, set up a Facebook group for your village, check out the Farmers Weekly online community, or join a local resilience group.
Contribute to the Weather Observations Website (WoW) which crowd sources data about weather impacts.
Most importantly, don't go it alone; if things are getting tough call Farming Help on 0845 367 9900
There are several charitable organisations who offer assistance to farmers at time of crisis. Farming Help consists of:
The Farming Community Network provides a helpline and a visiting service to farming people and families who are facing difficulties. The helpline is available between 7.00am until 11.00 pm every day of the year on 0845 367 9900. Or you can contact the eHelpline by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Addington Fund Provides homes for farming families who have to leave their farm and by doing so will lose their home. In times of emergency, and where hardship prevails, Addington may be able to support a farm business through its Trustees' Discretionary Fund with a short term grant.
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.) is a grant-making charity that provides confidential help to retired and working farming people in financial difficulty. Support is given to people of all ages and is tailored to individual needs. Call the freephone helpline 0300 303 7373 or email email@example.com
The Met Office is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Cold weather can lead to an increase in associated health problems. Age UK offer some helpful advice.
Advice issued by the Department for Transport on clearing snow and ice from the pavement outside your home or public spaces to prevent slips and falls. Follow the snow code to clear snow and ice safely.