4 Feb 2014

Prince Charles gives £50,000 to Somerset flood victims

Prince Charles pledges £50,000 to support residents of the Somerset Levels affected by flooding, with the Duke of Westminster set to match the sum.

The Prince of Wales announced the donation, which will be paid by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, during a trip to Somerset to meet with victims of recent flooding.

Schoolchildren, residents and campaigners met with Prince Charles at a reception in Stoke St Gregory, and the royal spent time talking with locals and members of the emergency services.

The Somerset Plains were hit by “once in 100 years” flooding in 2012, only for the serious flooding to strike again a year later.

‘Severe hardships’

More than 128,000 acres in the area are flooded, 40 homes are under water and around 200 houses are cut off. In total it is estimated that 350 people are affected.

Victoria Elms of the Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “Rural communities in the south west are facing a second consecutive year of flooding.

“The Prince’s Countryside Fund exists to support the people who live and work in the countryside and we hope this financial aid will go some way to supporting the farmers, businesses and families who are facing severe hardships as a result of the flooding.

“Rural businesses are key to thriving communities and we want to help get hard-hit villages back on their feet and open for business.”

The £50,000 from the Prince’s Countryside Fund will be divided evenly between the Farming Help Partnership and the Somerset Community Foundation.

Flooding worldwide

Meanwhile, flooding has been hitting other parts of the world, with residents in the Amazon rainforest of Bolivia dealing with “shoulder height” waters. 35,000 people are reported to have been hit by the flooding which follows heavy downpours in the area.

Most of Italy has also been hit by torrential rain, which has caused flooding and landslides. The town of Civitavecchia has been flooded.