Defra’s ‘role in recent flooding’
What has not been highlighted in the present flood crisis is the contribution that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has made to the flooding.
In 2005, the last government published an assessment of the enhanced flood risk created by changes in farming practices – in particular the increase of forage maize growing including on unsuitable areas of high erosion risk.
The Labour government turned this into regulations that provided for undersowing maize with ground cover crops, also ploughing and reseeding within 10 days of harvest in order to prevent run-off water sluicing off fields and flooding houses.
These have been swept away by the 2010 government and are a major cause of the present flood devastation around us.
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