Dysynni valley flooding left productive farmland worthless
High water levels in drainage ditches in the Dysynni Valley and the afon Dysynni have resulted in farm land being taken out of production and has left much of it worthless.
Assisting farmers in getting the problem solved as a matter of urgency was the Meirionnydd branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales, who arranged an emergency site meeting with local MP Liz Saville Roberts.
The Dysynni Valley is one of several Internal Drainage Districts in Meirionnydd which are administered by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), where farmers pay a statutory drainage rate for their land.
The FUW have been involved in the drainage issues over many years, and Huw Jones, the FUW’s CEO in Meirionnydd, was at the forefront of highlighting that urgent action is required to deal with the weak flow in the ditches, the need to clear mature weed growth and vegetation, and for ditch beds to be cleared and dredged in many areas along the valley.
“I realised that immediate action has to be taken on this. Many of our members have come to speak to me about their concerns here in the local county office and that’s why we have raised the issue with our local Member of Parliament.
“I am pleased to inform our members that a letter has now been sent from the office of Liz Saville Roberts to NRW asking them to address the problems our members are facing, including a comprehensive list of jobs that need to be carried out immediately,” said Huw Jones.
Mr Jones has previously visited the sites and added that the situation has resulted in the standing water being seen in several fields, which means that productive farmland has now been left worthless. There is also clear evidence of environmental deterioration.
“The issue affects most farmers within the valley and the FUW appreciates that the Dysynni has an unique man made drainage system, which has been described as a masterpiece of 19th century engineering. However, it is imperative that there is regular maintenance of the system. It is clear that there are serious shortcomings in the system, which has culminated in the situation we are in today,” said Mr Jones.
He added that the Union understands that maintenance has started, but an assurance is needed that it will be carried out thoroughly.
“We made a request for a maintenance programme to be carried out twice a year, as has been the case in previous years. This work will have a huge impact on our members’ livelihoods and the FUW is clear that the work over the coming weeks must be monitored carefully, and the farmers views taken on board. The damaged caused by the flooding can be reversed, meaning that our members can make full use of their fields again, however that depends entirely on the work being carried correctly and as soon as possible,” added Mr Jones.
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Farmers' Union of Wales