‘Visit flood-hit areas’ – Prince Charles

Prince Charles meets residents of Stamford in York in February 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince Charles met residents of the flood-hit east Yorkshire village of Stamford last month

Prince Charles has appealed to people to spend a spring break visiting parts of the UK which were hardest hit by the winter's devastating floods.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said the best way to help was by visiting to keep "vital local businesses going".

He also praised the resilience of communities which must cope with the shifting economy and the "ever more extreme vagaries of the weather".

He blamed these on "dangerously accelerating climate change".

In December, parts of England, Wales and Scotland were battered by several severe storms, with some areas flooded three times in less than a month.

Hotels, bed and breakfasts, businesses and attractions in some of the country's most popular beauty spots were destroyed and struggled to recover in time for the 2016 holiday season.

Image copyright PA
Image caption On Boxing Day last year, Stamford Bridge village near York was deluged

The prince, who is patron of English Tourism Week, was writing to highlight the Year of the English Garden.

Many of the country's greatest gardens could raise people's spirits and leave indelible memories, he said.

They generated income from visitors which could make a real difference to many hard-pressed communities, he added.

Referring to the winter floods, he said: "In the same way that gardens and entire landscapes can amaze us with their ability to recover relatively quickly from floods and storms, so too can their people.

"The way that local communities have pulled together to ensure a speedy recovery – even after the devastation and heart-breaking losses we have seen in recent months – has been truly remarkable."

He said even the most stricken areas were "once again open for business".

"I personally believe that we are incredibly lucky to be blessed with such a rich assortment of historic and cultural gems in this country, not to mention the jewel of our national parks and, above all, some of the wonders of our many hidden gardens, which are once again ready to amaze and delight visitors.

"I can only encourage you, therefore, to enjoy the best of what Great Britain has to offer this spring."