A GROUP of young farmers from Hampshire have rallied together to help flood victims in the south-west.

Beaulieu Young Farmer Chris Gray headed up the convoy of tractors taking hay and straw to farms in Somerset after National Federation of Young Farmers put out an appeal to help their Somerset members.

The 25-year-old, who works at Cadland Estate in Fawley, said: “I was sat at home doing nothing and thought I had to do something to help. So I put a message on Facebook asking if anybody could donate anything and now we have three tractors and three trailer-loads of straw and hay.

“Everything has been donated, even the tractors we will use.”

Junior vice chairman Chris left a farm in Petersfield in the early hours of this morning with friends Rob Day, of South East Hampshire Young Farmers, and Richard Morgan of Petersfield Young Farmers.

The trio had spent time collecting animal feed at Vale Farm on Enmill Lane, Pitt, near Winchester yesterday (February 28).

“Because of the flooding the fields in Somerset are spoiling underwater,” he added. “If grass is underwater for more than 21 days it starts to decompose so cattle down there will not get any feed and it will lead to food prices going up so we need to do our bit to help.

“We do quite long journeys on a regular basis and we’re well used to spending sometimes 12 hours on a tractor so the ride’s not looking too daunting.

“We’re all excited about meeting the farmers in Somerset. I’m excited but I’m also nervous because of what we’ll see when we get down there – none of us know just how bad it is apart from what we’ve heard.

“We have about 15 tonnes on each tractor so altogether, with the tractor and trailer, we’re probably about 25 tonnes a piece. That’s a lot of cargo moving at one and there’s three of us plus a support vehicle.

“We are really proud of what we’re doing and we’re all really looking forward to it.”