WITH many Dales residents, business-owners and farmers currently at their lowest ebb after the force of Tuesday's catastrophic flash floods, support has poured in from far and wide to support them.

The after-effects of the severe floods in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale are still being realised, but almost immediately after the event a team of dedicated volunteers set about tackling the clean-up.

Toni Calvert, from Swaledale, has a background in estate management and runs a local housekeeping and holiday cottage firm, and has used her skills to drive the support effort.

She said: "Everyone has been phenomenal. There are about 100 of us in all based at Reeth Memorial Hall, including Swaledale Mountain Rescue and police, but many are just local people volunteering.

"We started out as a base for people to come to but now we are feeding people; collecting clothing and bedding, cleaning products and animal supplies; and orchestrating services such as local councils and agencies.

"We have had the chief executive of Richmondshire District Council here on Friday and they are acting on what we are asking for and getting it here."

Mrs Calvert said the biggest requirement now was muscle power, but at the weekend was expecting Young Farmers and One Nation to arrive with more supplies.

One of the major ongoing problems is that many fields are contaminated with raw sewage so remaining sheep are unable to graze there. Some farmers are able to take livestock to higher ground, but even hillside fields are like a "moonscape" – covered in boulders and debris.

She wanted to stress that the Dales were still very much open for business.

"Most of the cafes and shops are back open, and we need the support. We are a strong community but still need the support of visitors."⁣