Inundated farmland and large round hay bales being washed away by the flooding of the River Eamont© Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has released £40,000 in emergency funding for flood-hit communities in the north of England and Scotland.

The money will be used to support rural communities, farmers and businesses affected by the wide-scale destruction as a result of the unprecedented and devastating flooding in the region.

A major fundraising appeal has been announced by the fund to help flood-damaged communities to get back on their feet.

See also: Flood-hit farmers face £20m clean-up bill

The fund will work alongside the Prince’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (Berg), an initiative of Business in the Community to support the communities affected and assist in their recovery in the longer term.

In total £30,000 will be donated to fund the Farming Help charities to aid farmers and rural communities in the area and to provide immediate financial assistance.

A sum of £10,000 will be made available to the Cumbria Community Foundation, which will be working with voluntary organisations to provide initial hardship grants of £500 to local people affected by the floods.

Fund director Claire Saunders said: “The full effect of the floods has yet to be realised, but many farms have lost livestock n the floodwaters, or been affected by landslips, while feed and equipment has been lost.

“The repairs to bridges, roads and dry stone walls will be an enormous job. This is a catastrophic blow to rural businesses that are already hard-pressed.

“Many will be relying on Christmas trade to turn a profit and we need to act swiftly to help them get back on track.

“We are urging farms and rural businesses in trouble to ask for help and contact the Farming Help charities and the Cumbria Community Foundation for advice and assistance.”

Berg chairman Mike Still said the flooding had caused huge devastation to property, land and the morale of communities.

“Once floodwaters recede and media attention wanes, people still need help to recover. We want to help hard-hit rural communities get back on their feet and open for business.”

Farm businesses affected by flooding can contact the Farming Help Hotline 03000 111 999. For support from the Cumbria Community Foundation, please call 01900 825760 or visit the Cumbria Community Foundation website.

To donate to the Flood Appeal 2015, Text PCF to 70300 to make a £3 donation, donate online.