Prince Charles: Farming can play a big part in protecting planet
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On a trip to the North of England to mark the return of the Great Yorkshire Show, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall stunned locals with their profound knowledge of rural issues. Bearing a shepherd’s crook carved with a white rose – a gift from a previous visit 15 years ago – the future King amazed farmers at England’s largest showpiece of rural life.
Charles proved his knowledge by quizzing one champion bull farmer on the “halters and marbling” of their prized animal.
Tom Harrison, whose Hereford bull Moralee One Rebel Kicks, weighing over 1,500kg, had been crowned Supreme Champion, said Charles understood “exactly what farmers need and want”.
He added: “I could have talked to the man for an hour.
“I would have liked to buy him a pint.”
Charles and Camilla spent three hours touring the show in Harrogate where the couple perused cattle sheds and oversaw sheep judging.
The nature-loving future King is an avid supporter of organic farming and environmental issues.
Charles was a trailblazer for early farmers having made a controversial decision in the mid-1980s to promote organic farming – a move not followed by many other farmers until the early 2000s.
Previously speaking on BBC Radio 4, Prince Charles said: “With roughly half of all the habitable land on earth used for agriculture, I cannot think of a sector more central to the survival of the planet.
“How we produce food has a direct impact on the earth’s capacity to sustain us, which has a direct impact on human health and economic prosperity.
“As we profit from nature, so nature must profit from us, but our current approach will lead to a dead-end, no matter how cost-effective intensive food production appears to be.
“Our current approach is forcing many small family farms to the wall. If they go, it will quite simply rip the heart out of the British countryside.”
The Prince of Wales attended the event as the patron of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which organises the annual event.
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The show was unfortunately cancelled last year due to Covid but returned on Tuesday with new safety measures and a cap on visitors.
The rural show closes on Friday after its first ever four consecutive day run.
However, while at the event, Charles did have one unfortunate misstep when he landed his foot in a rather pungent cow pat.
Anne Tully, a Cattle judge from Brixham, Devon, reassured Charles it was a good sign.
“I told him that was luck, that’s what we always say,” she said.
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