Preparing for a flood: Farms and agricultural land

Your land may be at risk of flooding even if your house is not. Make sure you have a flood plan and share it with all staff so they are familiar with it. Keep your plan somewhere safe and easily accessible.

Your flood plan should include all the above points and it should also consider:

  • identify fields at higher ground where livestock can be moved to safety
  • identify stock/machinery/tools that can easily be moved off the farm to prevent loss or damage
  • identify any chemicals/fuels on the farm that could contaminate flood water and think about how they could be moved to safety during a flood
  • consider how you will inform staff about an impending flood, and how staff may be able to help you prepare
  • draw up a contingency plan with suppliers to ensure business continuity to reduce loss of earnings
  • consider purchasing a stockpile of useful materials that can be used during a flood, i.e. sandbags to prevent water entering barns/sheds, plywood to board up windows and pallets to raise stock/equipment above flood water level

Top tips to reduce the likelihood of flooding on a farm:

  • consider creating run off ponds, or sediment traps on the farm to reduce the likelihood of flooding
  • avoid directing run off towards roads and watercourses
  • discharge roof water into swales and/or soakaways around the farm, to slow water down and recharge groundwater
  • loosen soil to leave a rough surface after harvesting to allow more water to soak in rather than run off land
  • remove stock when soils are wet in high-risk fields
  • use low-ground-pressure tyres to reduce soil compaction.

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