UK: New town causes water shortage on local farm

A small-scale grower is part of a crowdfunding campaign to force a housing development to review its environmental impact after facing 'significant' water shortages.

Clive Hayden, a berry and salad veg grower and owner of Larksfield Nursery in Cambridgeshire had to move away from growing flowers after drainage works to build a new town reduced his water supply.

Hayden, who said he has turned down several offers to buy his land, said: "I've certainly lost a significant amount of water from my well. We've always had low rainfall, but I've never had any issues with water. It's never been a problem."

"I was offered a lot of money a few years ago, but it's of no interest. I moved here with my parents 60 years ago, and my dad added the glasshouses and built them up the way we wanted. I don't think I could ever leave this place, and I still enjoy the work. I would like to supply the new residents with fruit and veg."

Water extraction can only be done with a license, and Hayden said he has "jumped through no end of hoops" and paid his fee to the Environment Agency for permission to use his well, which no longer provides enough water for the full growing season after he believes the water table was lowered.

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