Sutton Bridge farmer on the risks to the Fens from climate change

Stafford Proctor.
Stafford Proctor.

August is the month for wheat harvest. Oilseed rape has been gathered in, exceeding expectations, but dried peas were a disappointment, writes Stafford Proctor.

We are accustomed to August showers, but were unprepared for the deluge of the 8th. At Sutton Bridge we recorded 75mm of rain, with reports from Wisbech, March and Upwell of up to 116mm (4½in) – two and a half months’ rain in 18 hours!

So we have had our heaviest local downpour for a generation. What is the message in this? The tidal surge and flooding along the Wash coastline in December 2013 was an extreme weather event. The rain that fell last weekend was an extreme weather event. Many living and working in the countryside are convinced our climate is changing, with increased weather volatility.

This is particularly important for the 650,000 of us who live, work and enjoy the Fens, the low lying area extending from the Lincolnshire Wolds to the foothills around King’s Lynn, down to Cambridge and west to Peterborough.

We all need to understand the risks we face in the Fens from climate change and coastal and river flooding. We need to engage with politicians at all levels – parish, district and county councillors, and MPs, both in and out of government. Raising public awareness and encouraging our representatives to take action is the only way to secure our future prosperity and secure the massive benefits the area brings to the UK.