Prince returns to flood-hit village

Hillingdon Times: The Prince of Wales travelled to the flood-hit community of Muchelney earlier this year The Prince of Wales travelled to the flood-hit community of Muchelney earlier this year

The Prince of Wales is to return to the flood-hit village of Muchelney.

His visit comes five months after he came to see for himself the impact of the flooding on agriculture and the lives and livelihoods of residents on the Somerset Levels.

The Levels suffered "once in 100 years" flooding in July 2012, but endured even worse conditions last winter.

More than 128,000 acres were deluged - at a huge cost to local farmers - with around 40 homes under water and 200 more cut off.

Charles used the emergency boat service - the only means of travelling in and out of Muchelney at the time - and a tractor to meet people in their own homes.

The floods have long since receded and Charles will be recognising the resilience shown by the local community.

He will also show his appreciation for the support of organisations and individuals who brought aid to local farmers and residents throughout the crisis - bringing in animal feed from across the UK, helping with the removal and return of stock and providing food and building supplies.

The Prince will attend a reception hosted by South Somerset District Council at the Almonry Barn for local residents and businesses.

Charles will also visit Glastonbury Abbey and Castle Cary rail station, where he will meet staff from train operator First Great Western who worked during the floods.

Councillor Mike Best, chairman of the district council, said: "We are delighted and honoured that His Royal Highness has chosen to return so soon.

"We are proud that he will see the amazing recovery achieved by local people and by the environment."

During his last visit in February, Charles said the "tragedy" on the flood-hit Levels is that "nothing happened for so long".

He also pledged a £50,000 donation from The Prince's Countryside Fund, of which he is patron, to support flood victims, with the Duke of Westminster matching the funding with an additional £50,000.

But since the Prince spoke out, the Environment Agency has begun dredging the River Parrett.

Yesterday, campaigners welcomed a £13 million Government investment in the Somerset Flood Action Plan, which will see work to increase the capacity of the River Sowy, land management and further dredging.

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