Malmesbury and Chippenham farmers step in to aid neighbours

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Charlton Park farm manager Robin Aird, left, with James Hazell, who is driving the straw to Somerset Charlton Park farm manager Robin Aird, left, with James Hazell, who is driving the straw to Somerset

As communities struggle against the rising flood waters in Somerset, people in Wiltshire are pulling together to offer victims resources and refuge.

Lord Suffolk of Charlton Park is among those who have offered help, donating a lorry load of hay that will go out to farmers in Somerset who have had to uproot their livestock and watch their livelihoods wash away.

The Malmesbury Young Farmers and farmers in and around the area have also been working hard to help the neighbouring county.

Robin Aird, farm manager on the Charlton Park estate, took the lorry load of straw to Somerset on Tuesday.

He said: “Lord Suffolk offered to provide the straw free of charge. He’s been keeping an eye on the floods and watching it on the TV.

“We have had a property flooded on the estate but nothing like the scale of this.

“For us, it is all about the fact that these guys have had their lives ruined. It makes us realise how lucky we are when we are up that bit higher and not suffering.”

Mr Aird said they have also offered 300 acres of land for grazing for sheep for farmers in Somerset who need it.

Fellow farmer Andrew Taylor, of Lea, has also offered to donate straw or hay to those who need it.

Tom Collins, a farmer in Foxley, who previously chaired Malmesbury Young Farmers, spent Tuesday filling lorries with straw to take to Somerset.

“Myself and a fellow farmer, Rob Goodwin (of Marshfield near Chippenham), are filling up half a lorry each and sending that down.”

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