‘Beast from the East’ amphibious vehicle drives through Welney Wash

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

This is the moment entrepreneur Ross Taylor took his £100,000 Russian-made ‘Beast from the East’ for spin at the flooded Welney Wash. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Trials continue of the £100,000 Russian made ‘beast from the east’ that could provide support for the emergency services during Cambridgeshire’s worst floods in recent memory.   

Flooded out in his own logistics company before Christmas, farmer and entrepreneur Ross Taylor bought the Sherp ATV (all-terrain vehicle) to support the wider community.  

Already he’s offered it for use by CamSAR – the county’s lowland rescue team – and has even provided a base for them at his farm near Ely.   

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

Ross Taylor, who is the CEO of Buffaload Logistics and Corkers Crisps, has been testing the vehicle in rivers and flooded meadows. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Today he took it for a ‘spin’ through Welney Washes, exploring both the potential of his amphibious purchase but also seeing for himself the depth of water across the A1101.  

He hopes his experiences will show motorists it’s not a safe option to attempt to cross in a more conventional vehicle.  


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CamSAR chair Barry Carter said: “We are pleased to report that the team will be able to use a Sherp ATV in extremely adverse conditions for any search and rescue operations in water, snow, ice and floods as and when required.   

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

Nicknamed 'Beast from the East' and manufactured by Sherp, a company based in Russia, it is amphibious and can travel through water as well as other extreme conditions and terrain. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“The team is excited to have access to such a fantastic piece of kit that can only help to enhance our capabilities across the county.   

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“The region is increasingly threatened by flooding and we are most grateful to Ross for this cooperation and greatly appreciate his kind support to our efforts".  

He added: “Our teams were out at Christmas helping residents mainly in the Alconbury West, Ramsay and St Neots areas affected by the flooding.”  

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

It made light work of the flooded A1101 Welney Wash. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Mr Carter said the offer from Mr Taylor to provide a base for CamSAR means “we have our first proper home for the first time in six or seven years”.  

Mr Taylor said: “There isn’t any other vehicle around like the Sherp. It’s one of a kind and the most capable off-road vehicle in the world.  

“A lot of people lost their homes in the flooding at Christmas and needed saving. At least with the Sherp available and ready to be used, we can be prepared.”  

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

The flooded roads were no match for the £100,000 ATV. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Mr Taylor has also ignited a wide-ranging debate on flooding issues, and how various authorities have handled this winter’s crisis.   

He recently helped to launch a new Facebook group – east of England Flood Prevention- and already 3,000 people have joined.   

A Cambridgeshire businessman is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues and has invested

Ross Taylor is on a mission to tackle the region’s flooding issues. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Meanwhile startled villagers enjoyed watching the Sherp emerge from its trial run through the flooded Welney Wash road.   

“He could make a fortune by launching it as a ferry service,” said one.   

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