The UK government is discussing new rules to stop farmers contributing to flooding through poor land management. A policy of paying farmers to dig peat drainage channels is being reversed. Environmentalists say grants should be withheld if farms are managed in a way that encourages floods, but farmers don’t want more regulations.
Experts say some farmers have caused soil and water to flush into rivers by leaving fields bare and compacting land with cattle and heavy machinery. Scientists are particularly concerned about maize, the crop that creates most rainfall run-off. Some experts want maize to be banned from steep slopes altogether because its bare rows contribute so much to flooding and silt.