If you think your stable yard is in danger of being flooded, your first step should be to work out a flood plan.
“It’s very important to do this so that people on the yard know exactly what to do and who to call,” said Ross Cockburn of CSI Flood Products.
“Include where to take the horses, emergency telephone numbers and where and how to turn off the electric, water and gas supplies.”
The British Horse Society’s Lee Hackett added: “Move all horses to an area away from standing water, even if that means turning them out in the field.
“Make sure your hay is up off the floor on pallets because hay is cannot be fed once it becomes damaged by flood water.”
Miles Greenwood of Equine Pasture Maintenance recommeds, if possible, creating a winter turnout area in advance.
“Horses damage wet ground and it can take a lot to bring it back,” he says.
“If you do turn out in flooded fields, harrow, aerate and re-seed your paddocks in spring when the ground is dry. Add lime, potassium and phosphorus back in to the soil to get it ready for summer.”
For stables, manufacturers Scotts of Thrapston advised investing in deep flow guttering to drain rainwater away quickly.
“Treat your timber with a microporous wood stain and seal your brick work to reduce water damage,” added a spokesman.
Useful anti-flood products
- Sandbags are a cheap and effective way of stopping flood water, £55 for 100 hessian sacks
- Hydrosacks are eco-friendly and lighter to use than sandbags, £12 for two.
- Water extraction pumps remove standing water fast. Prices range from £55 up to £350.
- Module flood barriers are reusable blocks that slot into each other and protect whole areas such as yards, as well as stables, buildings and gateways from water. Prices start from £125.
All available from www.flood-products.co.uk (0800 083 0953). Your local council may also provide sandbags in an emergency.
This article was first published in H&H magazine (10 January 2013)