Duchy Home Farm (site visit)

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Nearly 50 people participated in a tour of Duchy Home Farm near Tetbury which is owned by HRH Prince Charles whose farm manager David Wilson has developed organic farming techniques. We are grateful to Chloe Darling (picture) of Elkstone parish church for organising this event.

The meeting started at 2.00pm with Chloe speaking about practical ways (handout) that churches can make churchyards better for wildlife to flourish. Roger Mortlock who is Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust ( http://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/who-we-are/meet-team) happened to mention that 5% of households in the county are members! Chloe's son Edward described the work of Redlist Revival (http://www.redlistrevival.com/) recently featured on the BBC TV programme Spring Watch. Arthur Champion outlined the role of GCEJN before handing over to David Wilson for the guided tour. At 5.00pm Chloe had arranged for tea and cake. She formally thanked David and invited everyone to show their appreciation by making a donation. Clarence House responded with a "thank you letter" for our £90.75p donation to The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation.

The Prince believes passionately in the advantages of organic farming. In 1985, when it was still a relatively new concept, His Royal Highness decided to convert the Duchy Home Farm into a completely organic farming system.  Home Farm is now not only a successful and viable working farm, but a flagship for the benefits of an organic, sustainable form of agriculture.

In addition to working closely with organisations, such as The Soil Association, The Sustainable Food Trust, Garden Organic and The Organic Research Centre, Home Farm supports education and research by hosting workshops that promote the links between food, farming, health and the environment

As Patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, The Prince is keen for Home Farm to play an active role in helping to preserve the gene pool of British pigs, sheep and cattle. Over the years, these breeds have increasingly been replaced by foreign breeds and breeding programmes more suited to intensive farming methods. To help counteract this, Home Farm features animals including Tamworth pigs, Irish Moiled, Gloucester, Shetland and British White cattle, as well as Hebridean and Shropshire sheep. These rare breeds are highly prized by The Prince for the quality of their produce and natural affinity with the British farming landscape.