FARMERS should receive government support to help them cope with consequences of the summer drought, according to Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron.

He is urging ministers to provide assistance to farmers in the form of additional feed and access to emergency water supplies. In a letter to the Farming Minister, George Eustice, Mr Farron said the weather was having a devastating impact on animal welfare and causing severe financial strain because farmers are having to buy in feed. He also tabled a parliamentary motion to gain other MPs’ backing for local farmers.

“The hot weather and lack of rain this summer has been quite troubling for our farmers,” said Mr Farron, who suggested farmers keeping livestock in upland areas had been most badly hit by the drought.

“A package of food and support should be delivered so that they aren’t worried about maintaining their animals in the weeks to come, without having to use up their feed for winter.”

Meanwhile, Mike Butler, a farm specialist at Old Mill accountants claimed some livestock farmers would seek to cull up to half their herds to reduce forage requirements over the winter, while others may need to raise their overdrafts to cover increased feed costs.