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The Prince of Wales visits charity initiatives in Cumbria

1st April 2015

The Prince of Wales greets members of the local community in Cumbria

The Prince of Wales has been visiting Cumbria to highlight the work of two of his charitable initiatives.

His Royal Highnesses' visit focused particularly on the importance of Herdwick sheep - local sheep farmed on the Cumbrian Fells, where they are left to roam freely.

He also visited a photography exhibition by Ian Lawson, who spent five years photographing Herdwick sheep herders.

Speaking to well-wishers at the Rheged Centre in Penrith, The Prince said: "It is a unique part of the world, and the hill farmers are a unique part of it.

"That's why I'm so proud of my Countryside Fund, which has helped to contribute a little bit towards the maintenance of a succession for hill farmers and to encourage some of the young people who want to go into farming, as the challenges can sometimes be overwhelming."

During his visit, The Prince met local young sheep farmers and wool craftsmen, as well as chefs from the Rheged Centre who work with farmers to provide locally sourced products.

Later in the day, he visited the Westmorland County Agricultural Society in the south of the county, involving a close encounter with a cow and some spring lambs.

His Royal Highness met local children and their families, who had braved heavy rain, before being given a demonstration of the techniques used by a group called Broadband For The Rural North, which works to give people living in isolated rural areas access to high-speed broadband. He also met members of the Dry Stone Walling Association, of which he is Patron.

The Prince said he found dry stone walling "an impossible jigsaw" before adding: "It is so important to maintain these rural traditions. I am thrilled my Countryside Fund is able to help again, a little bit, on the stone walling front and in maintaining these skills."

The day-long royal visit ended at Peter Hall & Son, a local bespoke furniture makers and restorers in Staveley, where His Royal Highness put the finishing touches to a plaque he later unveiled to commemorate his visit.

The Prince of Wales meets people preparing food from local produce at the Rheged Centre in Penrith, Cumbria.

The Prince of Wales meets people preparing food from local produce at the Rheged Centre in Penrith, Cumbria.