Prince's vision for countryside
Source: FWi 21 January 2003

By Farmers Weekly staff

PRINCE Charles has spoken of how he believes it is his duty to "repair, restore and re-create" Britain's lost countryside.

The Prince said the public should know that the countryside was an intricate and delicate tapestry rich in heritage.

The 20th century had seen the "persistent unstitching of that delicate tapestry – all in the name of progress," he said.

It had seen the near extinction of native sheep and cattle breeds, rare vegetables and fruit, and more than half of the country’s ancient woodland.

The Prince's views are documented in a television programme following a year in the life of his country estate at Highgrove, Gloucestershire.

Writing in the Radio Times, the Prince said: “Some people like to say that this is all part of a wealthy man’s indulgence.

"But I see it more as a duty to do what I can in my own area.”

Four out of the five breeds of farm animals at Duchy Home Farm on the estate are under the care of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The farm is also home to Gloucester and Irish Moiled cattle breeds as well as Hebridean sheep.

"Our native breeds… are just as much a part of our cultural heritage as Sutton Hoo or Stonehenge," the Prince said.

Proper progress ultimately depends on balance, he added.

"I am interested in creating an integrated approach, in other words blending the best of the traditional with the best of the modern.

"At Highgrove I am merely trying to remind people of some timeless principles and eternal truths when it comes to caring for the land."

• Highgrove – a Prince's legacy is at 6.25pm on BBC2 on Sunday, 26 January.