Forming a new section of the NAAC, the contractors will reap the benefits of being part of a larger organisation, whilst retaining and consolidating their lobbying power.

Originally part of the NAAC, the LDCA broke away in 1984 but, as the industry has changed, positive agreement has been reached to re-unite the sector and go full circle back into the NAAC fold.

Commenting, Nigel Wyatt, new chairman of the new NAAC land drainage section said: “It’s a huge positive step for land drainage contractors to amalgamate with the NAAC. Membership of the Association will bring us each additional individual benefits and industry credibility. I am looking forward to a new partnership and becoming integrated within the Association.”

Numerous issues are now firmly on the NAAC Land Drainage radar including endorsing the benefits of land drainage to increase crop yields and mitigate flood risk. The sector will be engaging with DEFRA to ensure that messages are reinforced and the professionalism of the sector is promoted.

“With an estimated 90% of drainage work in the UK carried out by contractors, this is an important area for the NAAC,” said Duncan Russell, NAAC chief executive. ‘We will be putting on training courses and technical seminars and updating and guidance and Codes of Best Practice on land drainage. All will be available soon on the NAAC website.”

Tenders that had stipulated LDCA members should also now be reviewed to specify NAAC Land Drainage contractors. All members agree to comply with the NAAC Code of Conduct and insurance requirements. In addition, the NAAC will be publishing specific guidance on land drainage.