HRH PRINCE Charles' Countryside Fund is to donate £50,000 to help farmers and rural communities affected by the flooding in Reeth and Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire.

The aid will be distributed via The Addington Fund, a disaster relief charity which was set up in response to the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic, and ForageAid, which provides forage and/or bedding to farmers whose livestock has been affected by extreme weather events.

Farmers in the area who have been affected by the flooding should visit, or call 01926 620135, or email to find out how they can benefit from this funding.

Prince’s Countryside Fund director, Claire Saunders, said: “The flooding in Yorkshire has been localised but is very severe, with farms having lost hundreds of sheep, miles of dry-stone walls being destroyed, and machinery washed away. The Prince’s Countryside Fund aims to support the people who live and work in our countryside and we hope that this emergency funding will help to get those affected back on their feet. Rural and farm businesses are key to supporting thriving countryside communities and we want to help get those affected up and running again as soon as possible.”

Addington Fund CEO Bill Young said: “We are delighted that as usual the PCF is one of the first charities to act. Farmers in such situations tend to suffer in silence and this will enable us, in conjunction with our fellow charity Forage Aid to act swiftly.

"Our first concerns will be to help with dead stock disposal and ensuring animals have enough uncontaminated feed and forage to get through this difficult period. Both charities have the infrastructure in place to react quickly and our aim will be to help get these farms ready for what could be a difficult winter anyway with so much uncertainty in the market place. We are very grateful to Claire and her team for identifying the need and acting so rapidly.”

The PCF is also working with the Dry Stone Walling Association, who have been supported via the fund’s grants programme for several years, to provide trained volunteers to help rebuild the dry stone walls that have been destroyed by flooding, as well as the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, whose members have been volunteering to assist with the clear up efforts.