A meeting for Sperrins farmers affected by landslides during the August floods will discuss the possibility of using the ‘Force Majeure’ excuse for their Basic Payment Scheme application this year.
Farmers in the area have been concerned that they would be unable to restore the land to its correct use in time for the EU application.
It comes less than two weeks after farm mental health charity Rural Support reported a 50% increase in calls, mainly caused by flood-stricken farmers who fear the Government will not step in with any assistance.
Unprecedented and prolonged wet weather in August, as well as recent heavy snowfall, has exacerbated the situation in the north-west.
The public meeting will take place on Thursday, February 22 in Cranagh Hall, Glenelly at 8:00pm.
The meeting has been organised by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Dr. Alan Dykes, a specialist in upland landslides from Kingston University, will outline his findings on the causes of the landslides, the likelihood of further landslides and the management of the affected hillsides going forward.
A representative from the department will also outline how these specific areas will be treated in relation to area-based payments and possible Force Majeure in 2018.
‘Force Majeure’ refers to unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
A bulletin summarising this information will be available at the meeting and will be available on the DAERA website shortly after the event.
However, the meeting will not cover issues relating to restoration of lower areas affected by debris and deposition.
The bulletins issued at workshops dealing with these areas in October 2017 are still available on the DAERA website.