FARMERS with land in Long Preston liable to flooding have set up a new group looking at natural flood management measures.

The Ribblesdale Farmers Group, made up of farmers with land in the Long Preston Deeps, also aims to look at ways to make the land better for wildlife and farming, as well as helping to prevent flooding and water quality.

And any interested landowner or farmer not already part of the group has until Thursday, July 6 to register an interest and get on board.

Chairman, Richard Frankland, said: “The project is all about involving farmers and organisations to work cooperatively together to bring about environmental benefits that fit in well with farmers’ land management objectives."

He said the group planned to run soil workshops and demonstration events to illustrate the importance of good soil structure and management of nutrients, both of which have a positive impact on farms.

The group has received three years of European Union funding from the Countryside Stewardship Scheme’s Facilitation Fund following a successful bid by the Clapham-based charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), in conjunction with local farmers and the Ribble Rivers Trust.

It will build on the success of the Long Preston Floodplain Project, which has carried out work to allow the Ribble to take a more natural course and to reconnect it with its floodplain, as well as restoring wetland habitat for wading birds while also providing benefits to landowners.

Adrian Shepherd, YDMT’s Long Preston Floodplain project officer, who will support the group, said: “This is a great opportunity for local farmers to share knowledge and experience, to work together to improve the sustainability of their farms and to enable better access to funding for capital works”.

So far, 25 farmers have joined the group but there is scope for more to join.

“The collaborative approach taken by the Ribblesdale Farmers Group is increasingly likely to be one that farmers need to embrace in the future, and so I would encourage more farmers to join the group now while it’s in its early days to get the most benefit out of it," said Mr Shepherd.

Landowners have until Thursday, July 6, to register their interest by contacting Mr Shepherd on 07818 048747, or by emailing