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Emergency cash from Prince of Wales for farmers hit by extreme weather

By WBMiles  |  Posted: December 18, 2012

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Farmers in the South West struggling as a result of the extreme wet weather could be able to get emergency financial help.

The Prince's Countryside Fund has announced it will donate £150,000 from its emergency fund to help farmers who are struggling through the winter months as a result of the weather.

The Duke of Westminster confirmed he would personally match the funding and donate an additional £150,000 taking the total amount raised so far to £300,000.

This summer was the second wettest in the UK since records began, Met Office figures indicated and a drought across much of England during the spring followed by record-breaking wet weather has meant a poor harvest for many farmers.

The Prince of Wales said: "I have been growing increasingly concerned about the many difficulties which farmers from all sectors are facing – and are likely to face – this winter and so I thought it was important for us to come together, hear what we each have to report and then I want to see what I can do to help through my Prince's Countryside Fund."

The decision was announced following a meeting last night called by the Prince with the leaders of the UK rural charities - The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Farm Crisis Network and the Addington Fund in England and Wales, and RSABI in Scotland).

The funding will be distributed among a number of charities and used to help farmers struggling financially as result of the extreme weather this summer which led to a shortage of grazing, low stocks of forage and a poor harvest, compounded by the rising cost of feed and fuel.

At the meeting Farm Crisis Network confirmed that casework is already double that experienced normally at this time of year in the South West.

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