To celebrate his 66th birthday, Prince Charles wrote a foreword for Country Life magazine, in which he described his worries on the future of the countryside and urged people to value it or risk losing it.
“People in the UK are now four or more generations removed from anyone who actually worked on the land – and it frequently shows in their attitudes,” wrote Prince Charles. “The rich, natural tapestry that is the countryside we value so highly does not just happen by itself. But that delicately woven tapestry is facing unprecedented challenges.”
Last year, Prince Charles reportedly guest-edited for the magazine as a way of celebrating his 65th birthday. The monarch turns 66 on Friday, November 14. “We are delighted that the prince agreed to mark his 66th birthday by writing a powerful leader on the importance of preserving the countryside and its way of life,” said Mark Hedges, editor of Country Life.
“The prince has a deep understanding and connection with every aspect of people working and living in rural Britain, from highlighting the hardship facing hill farmers who, last year, earned on average £8,000 to the 60,000 new entrants needed in the UK farming sector to secure its future, to the importance of preserving village schools, pubs and shops at the heart of country communities,” added Hedges.
Unlike his more conservative mother, Prince Charles has been outspoken on topics such as the environment, being the owner of the successful organic farm Duchy Home Farm. He runs several organic groups besides the Countryside Fund, which gives support to farmers and tackles issues such as rural isolation and the decline of communities.
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Prince Charles in his piece emphasized the importance of the farmer “as food producer, at the front and centre of the picture.”
“It would not only be a folly to lose agricultural land, it would be equally foolish to use it in ways that are not environmentally sustainable in the long term,” wrote Prince Charles.