King Charles is a man known for his regard for farming in a way that supports sustainability and biodiversity. While as King he has been less vocal about these beliefs, we know his passion for a more regenerative approach to farming will continue because he has talked so much about its importance over the years. His Coronation, on Saturday 6th May 2023, will officially crown a man who has been a King for the countryside for many years.

As recently as July 2021, as then Prince Charles, he made his thoughts very clear through an essay read out on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. You can watch a video of him making the the recording here. 

King Charles will have formed his outlook on the duality of farming and nature from many different sources, but we hope that his visits to the Countryside Regeneration Trust’s Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire, will have played their part too. He visited twice over the years, which strongly suggests he saw something he liked at Lark Rise and wanted to know more about. The first visit was in September 1995, and the second, in November 2004, was a much more dramatic entrance when he arrived by helicopter.

Lark Rise is a 400-acre arable farm, managed by tenant farmer and CRT Trustee Tim Scott, where direct drilling techniques, alongside many other wildlife-friendly initiatives, have ensured biodiversity is flourishing alongside food production.

The first visit was a very informal affair. Ken Gifford, one of the CRT’s original trustees remembers the day well.

“He came across as knowledgeable on farming techniques and wildlife. He was a very pleasant man who made a point of talking to everyone so the whole experience was relaxed. From everything I remember being said that day, I’ve no doubt he will continue to back what the CRT does and stands for.” 

There was one moment that caused Ken a few blushes when, over a sit-down tea, farmer Tim Scott informed Prince Charles that ken had pointed out to some new members there were a pair of “hobbits” rather than hobbies, nesting in the nearby Telegraph Field. Ken’s wildlife slip of the tongue raised a weary smile from the Prince.

Farmer Tim Scott’s over-riding memory of it was of his dog Bella, who decided it would rather ride in the front seat of his vehicle on the lap of a future King, rather than squeezed in the back with three other people. Bella’s lack of royal etiquette was quickly laughed off and Tim took Prince Charles on a tour of the farm.

“He was a very down-to-earth man, and he had a way of making you feel at ease. We discussed the various farming issues of the day. I recall him being frustrated with intensive agriculture and very much being in tune with the ethos of the CRT.” 

The second visit was a speedier affair, but Tim remembers he referred to the surrounding land being like a prairie, and that his recall of his earlier visit was impressive.

“He very much liked the changes we had made to the land, with particular references to the smaller fields, and the increase in hedgerows and grass margins.”

Following King Charles III’s Coronation at Westminster Abbey, we won’t see an outwardly campaigning man because his role as King will override his individuality, but his deep-rooted understanding of, and regard for, both farming and nature will still be very much a part of the man behind The Crown. We’re grateful for his support, and we owe it to his passion for farming and nature to keep fighting for a better future for the countryside.

How you can help

We can’t do it without you. If you want to help us protect local wildlife you can support the CRT in any number of ways, from joining as a CRT Friend to volunteering on one of our farms and attending our events. You can also sign-up to our monthly newsletter 'CRT News' for regular updates from our farms, straight to your in-box.

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Read more about the wildlife and conservation initiatives on our farms here Wildlife Blog