Canterbury flooding: Farmers face long road to recovery

It's a week on from Canterbury's devastating floods and farmers are facing a long road ahead.

Despite a lot of support in the region, there is still much to be done and some of it needs to move faster than it is.

The Allen's sheep and beef farm has devastating damage. Last week's floods have dramatically changed the landscape, the ground giving way across the back of their property.

Chris Allen says it's been "pretty intense". Intense because now they realise how much work lies ahead of them.

Anne-Marie Allen says the damage is "worse than you can imagine, it is like being in the riverbed". 

"[There's] one little corner which is probably about 15 to 20 hectares of the farm which has got all the devastation, it's got stumps, it's got gravel, it's got massive gouges over two metres deep," Chris explains.

They will have to replace nearly all the fences on the farm and winter feed is buried under silt and rocks.

The water that fell and came through farms around Canterbury was like nothing anyone had seen before. 

Volunteers have been coming in their droves to help with the cleanup, expected to take months.

Members of the Christchurch Tramping Club have been helping out all weekend. 

"Instead of tramping this weekend we're just trying to help out various farms around particularly the Ashburton area which has been the worst hit," says Lindsay Walton.

It's raining today one week on from the devastating floods - which is the last thing these farmers need because many of them have paddocks that are still well underwater.

Farmers are trying to manage their properties and their mental health so the job ahead doesn't seem so overwhelming.

"There's been some phenomenally long hours and it's heavy work, working in the wet," Anne-Marie says.

"Just seeing action happen, just seeing fences cleared, things looking a bit tidier - that helps hugely with mental health."