Prince Charles and The Duke of Westminster Come To Farmers’ Aid
The Prince of Wales donated £150,000 to aid those struggling through the winter months. The announcement was made following a meeting called by the Prince of Wales with the leaders of farm charities. The money will come from The Prince’s Countryside Fund and constitutes the entirety of its emergency fund. Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster – the richest person in Britain – has already pledged to donate the same sum of £150,000 to the emergency fund.
The Prince said he had been growing increasingly concerned about the many challenges which farmers from all sectors are facing this winter. “When I set up my Countryside Fund in 2010, I and the trustees decided from the start that we would always keep a lump sum available to be used for any farming emergency. Indeed some of you have already received help from this fund in the past. But I think we are all agreed that many British farmers are facing an emergency situation and so I am very pleased that the trustees agreed at their quarterly meeting that we would divide £150,000 between you.”
Lord Curry of Kirkharle, a Trustee of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, added: “This is the first time that the Countryside Fund has utilised all of its emergency funding and is a reflection of what a difficult time this is for farmers. Farms have been hit hard by the poor weather and it is only going to get worse as the need to buy in feed at inflated prices and the increase in other costs begins to have a serious effect on cash flow. In addition, arable farmers are having a dreadful year and it is clear that next year will be no better. The impact will probably be felt in January and February onwards so it is particularly well timed to release the money now and ensure the charities can prepare for the increase in demand for their services.”
Meurig Raymond, NFU deputy president, thanked the Prince and the Duke for their support of farmers: “This emergency donation and the generosity of the Duke of Westminster will mean that many farmers and growers will receive help at a difficult time for their business and those hard-pressed farmers really welcome support when times are tough.”
The Prince’s Countryside Fund was set up in 2010 to support Britain’s rural areas and has distributed over £1.7 million, benefiting 20,000 people. The decision to use up all of the fund’s emergency savings now is no accidence; this summer was the second wettest since Met Office records began and the extreme weather has meant a poor harvest and high costs for farmers. There are also health issues for livestock as a result of the wet weather, with some of the highest incidence of liver fluke ever seen among cattle and sheep. All the money raised will be distributed through a number of charities and used to help the struggling farmers.Filed under The United Kingdom.