Prince Charles celebrates Lake District as World Heritage site & sees sheep herding in Cumbria

Prince Charles spent the day in Cumbria, where he visited the Lake District, to mark its new status as a World Heritage site, as well as spending time learning about how new farmers are being trained at the National Centre for the Uplands, and enjoying a boat ride at Ullswater in beautiful surroundings.

The heir to the throne arrived on the royal train at Langwathby Railway Station, where he met with volunteers who help maintain the 32-year-old station.

The Prince of Wales was greeted by curtsies and bows, meeting a large crowd of school children earlier today. Cumbria’s new chief constable Michelle Skeer was also on hand to welcome the Prince.

The day’s main event was the unveiling of a plaque to mark the Lake District’s status as a UNSECO World Heritage Site.  The area joined famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal on the prestigious list last year. The new plaque is location on top of a dry stone wall, overlooking Derwent Water in Keswick.

The heir to the throne praised the region as a “particularly special part of the world”, but warned that the survival of many rural communities could not be taken for granted: “Over the last 17 years I have made regular visits here, beginning at a time of crisis during foot and mouth.

“Over these years, as I have come to know local people and understand these unique farming communities, I am continually struck by their resilience and ability to overcome trials, whether of family tragedy, pestilence or flooding.

“But, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot take the survival of these very special communities for granted. Successful rural businesses are a prerequisite to delivering benefits for the public.”

The royal visitor also told the crowd: “Whenever I come here and, in the words of Psalm 121, ‘lift up mine eyes unto the hills’, I feel my spirits rise and I know the same is true of countless others.

“I could not be more delighted to be with you here today on this very special occasion in what I happen to think is a particularly special part of the world.

“Official recognition by the Unesco World Heritage committee of the Lake District National Park as a World Heritage Site is a significant achievement, which I am told has taken 31 years,” Prince Charles added.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary was also present at the event, and there were performances from local schoolchildren and the cast of various productions at the ‘Theatre By The Lake.’

Lord Clark of Windermere, chairman of the Lake District National Park Partnership, said: “This plaque will give local people and visitors a place to come and appreciate not just the spectacular landscape but also the rich, cultural history of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site.”

His visit to Cumbria comes after a dew days in Cornwall; on Saturday, The Duke of Cornwall (as he is known in the county) visited Dartmoor Prison to hear from an inmate choir.

After this, Charles, as patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, visited the National Centre for the Uplands at Newton Rigg College.

the prince of wales at newton rigg college today; his ‘countryside fund’ supports such schemes (clarence house)

prince charles hears more about preparing young farmers (clarence house)

The centre was established in 2011 to train the next generation of hill farmers, and is supported by the Countryside Fund. The fund was founded by His Royal Highness in 2010, and aims to enhance the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of life in rural areas; it also aims to encourage more young people to take up careers in farming.

In recognition of this role, the future King wore a ‘Countryside Fund’ badge on his lapel.

Prince Charles was also treated to a display of sheepdog handling skills that students had learnt from their courses.

The Prince of Wales – as patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund – saw sheep herding at the National Centre for the Uplands part of Newton Rigg College. Picture by Stuart Walker / i-Images

After this, Prince Charles enjoyed a boat ride on Ullswater Steamers’ flagship, ‘Lady of the Lake’. The sustainable business was established in 1859 and today carries over 325,000 passengers a year.

The ship that The Prince of Wales boarded was launched in 1877, and is thought to be one of the oldest working passenger vessels in the world. Of course, the Royal also unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

He even briefly took the wheel, steering the vessel across the water, with his royal standard at the bow of the boat.

The conclude a very busy day, the Prince finally visited paper manufacturer James Cropper PLC, to learn how the company recycles takeaway coffee-cups into high quality paper and packaging. The company puts sustainability at the heart of its business plan, and is therefore of much interest to Charles. Just last week, the Prince saw a company who is seeking new ways to package food other than plastic.

To date, the plant has recycled over 6 million used cups.

It was Charles’s job to press a button, to help send many more cups on their way through the recycling process.

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