November has been an exceptionally rainy month: rainfall at nearby farms has been somewhere around 180mm for the month, with the average hovering much closer to 120mm for this area according to the Met Office. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in quite a bit of flooding across the Godinton Estate – much of our land is low-lying and the consistent rainfall has seen the river’s water level rise and the land become saturated as the Stour burst its banks.
There’s very little room to be sceptical in the modern day about climate change – the weather patterns, even in the UK, over the past few years have been getting more extreme. From long heatwaves and droughts in the summers to prolonged cold, snowy winters, it is clear that weather patterns are shifting. The floods in and around Doncaster earlier in November have shown exactly how much damage can be caused by these changes in weather. The climate emergency is a huge threat to the agricultural sector: variable and extreme weather can seriously disrupt planting and growing patterns. Furthermore, drought and flooding damages the quality of soil and its ability to grow crops.
We’re lucky that most of the land that has been flooded on the estate is used for grazing rather than arable purposes, but the intense rainfall is not good for habitats, eco-systems or the grass. Similarly, it’s hardly ideal for our farmers to have to rescue sheep from flooded fields. Godinton is committed to tackling the climate crisis head on, and we are constantly reviewing and updating our practices to ensure we are being as environmentally friendly as possible. The only perk (if you can call it that) to the flooding has been some rather lovely shots of Thursday’s sunrise reflected in the flood water….!