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Flooding forces farmer to move with his 500 sheep

By Maryam_Qaiser  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

Chris King, a farmer from Ministerworth, has moved his flock of sheep to a farm in Cheltenham to save them from the floods

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Farmer Chris King had to move 500 sheep from Minsterworth to Cheltenham and has been living in a caravan after he was flooded.

And he believes despite better weather this week, there could be more problems on the cards for next week.

Chris, who has sheep and cattle, said: “It could get worse because I have heard there is a tide coming in March.

“The floods have been awful, the water has come onto the fields and into the buildings. You could say it is almost waist high.”

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Chris is now staying in a caravan on a site in Cheltenham while his family remain in Minsterworth.

He added: “If we have a decent spring it might not take that long to get back to normal but it will still be around May time.

“It will also depend if the grass has been killed. We are right by the River Severn so we have been flooded before such as in 1947, in the 60 and recently 2007.”

Before Chris can move his sheep back into the farm, he will have to clean the debris.

He said: “At the moment you cannot event open the gates. It is taunting to think about clearing the rubbish, there is so much of it. I will have to put the fence up too.

“We were contacted by the National Farmers’ Union because they had a farm free in Cheltenham. It has been kept empty by the owners so people can use it if they have been affected by flooding.

“It is very tough at the moment because I have commitments back in Minsterworth so I am travelling a lot.”

However Chris is not alone, it seems farmers across the county are being affected with the latest downpour.

Farmer Mike Caspersen believes a number of factors contribute to flooding.

He said: “We live in Longhope so we are fine, but farmers down in Minsterworth are not. Things like rain water going into the sewage system and not into soakaways anymore does not help and people building on flood plains affects flooding. We recently took more than 15 tonnes of forage to help farmers in Somerset.”

Ian Johnson from the NFU said the some farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset had built up the banks to protect their homes.

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