Prince Charles has expressed his concern for the future of small family farms and rural communities in a special edition of the BBC’s Countryfile programme on 10 March.
“I worry about the way things are changing all the time and sources of income are more uncertain,” he said in the programme, which was set on the 445ha Duchy Home Farm in Gloucestershire.
“The challenges are enormous, particularly the shortage of feed, but there are also diseases of every kind, whether it’s Schmallenberg, TB or goodness knows what else afflicting the farming community. That’s why it’s so important to have a means of supporting those very hard-working people.”
Upland areas were highlighted as a particular area for concern due to the isolation, lack of services and remoteness. Average upland incomes were just £14,000, with some as little as £8,000, the programme said.
The Prince also voiced his passion for the countryside and renewed calls for people to “work in harmony with nature”.
“We need to think about the future and what kind of world we’re handing on to our successors, particularly grandchildren.”
“We need to think about the future and what kind of world we’re handing on to our successors, particularly grandchildren,” he said.
The programme also highlighted the importance of rare breeds and the need to reconnect children with where their food comes from.
On a visit to a south London school where pupils were growing their own vegetables, the Prince lent his support to Jamie Oliver’s campaign for healthy school dinners.
“I think the key is to link the food and the cooking with the growing,” he said. “You’ve got to have a school ground or a school farm.
“How they transform the whole attitude and outlook and attention span and behaviour of all these youngsters because they’ve actually brought in a proper chef.”