HM King Charles III meets The Prince’s Countryside Fund farmers in Malton

April 6, 2023

HM King Charles III visited the North Yorkshire market town of Malton, where he met with representatives of charities who support local communities across the county, including The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The PCF have supported 166 farming families across North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, including Stevie and Laura Woods of Wethercote Farm near Helsmley, who have recently participated in the PCF’s Farm for the Future programme.

Laura Woods, farmer, said: “It was so exciting to meet The King. He was really interested in the farm, in the Swaledale sheep that we have, and how the Farm for the Future programme had helped with our succession planning. It encouraged us to think about how we want to run our business and we’ve taken on some more land as a result.”

Farm for the Future is the PCF’s programme of support for farmers in England, which helps them to develop a better understanding of their finances, and take advantage of environmental opportunities and nature friendly farming practices. Coordinated in North Yorkshire by The Farmer Network, currently 30 farming families are taking part.

Group coordinator Peter Hoey said: “It’s fantastic to see the difference that The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s programmes make to farm businesses. I’ve been running groups for seven years now, and I was delighted to talk to King Charles about the impact that his charity has made.”

Alongside the PCF’s work supporting farming families, they have also invested over £500,000 in grant funded projects across the region, including funding for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, and Revival CIC, a community organisation that provides support services to isolated, older and vulnerable people in remote areas.

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s vision is to create a thriving countryside, with farmers and rural communities at its very heart. The opportunity to introduce some of the hardworking farmers that we’ve helped to HM King Charles III has been wonderful – as a farmer himself, the King really understands the challenges that farmers are facing, and we are so proud to be able to support them.

“The Prince’s Countryside Fund has accelerated our scale and reach over the last three years to the benefit of ever more rural communities, and the charity has always been underpinned by his Majesty’s unparalleled empathy and support for the people of the countryside.”

The Prince’s Countryside Fund would like to thank their funders and supporters who allow their work with farmers and rural communities to continue.