Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Alice Barnard writes: While for most of us every week is countryside week, I would draw your attention to National Countryside Week, an important initiative launched by HRH the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Fund.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund was set up a year ago to try to address numerous problems, including the disconnect between the urban population and rural life and the resulting lack of awareness many have of the importance of our countryside. Billed as “a unique collaboration of brands and businesses working together to secure a sustainable future for British agriculture and the wider rural economy” the fund reflects the Prince’s well documented love of the countryside.
Part of this movement is National Countryside Week, taking place this week to celebrate “the British Countryside and the people who take care of it.” Launched with some shock statistics, we learned that “90 per cent of people were unaware the average wage of a farmer is just £15,000”, and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been touring the country all week to raise awareness of rural life. The Countryside Fund has already raised over £1million for projects like training apprentice hill farmers, setting up post offices in pubs known as “pub as the hub” and training farmers to utilise online technology.
This is something we can all support for many reasons. We all love our countryside, those who strive to maintain it and who work hard to ensure its future. We can’t say it enough times and this belief runs through every campaign the Countryside Alliance has ever undertaken. The value of what the Prince is doing lies partly in the fact that his initiative has been plastered all over the newspapers, shining a spotlight on many of the problems that the Alliance campaigns to resolve on a day to day basis.