This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Prince Charles when he came to North Devon as part of his visit to the South West.

The Prince of Wales attended part of a Farming and Natural Capital Seminar, hosted by the North Devon Biosphere Reserve, on Wednesday 21 July at Tennacott Farm near Bideford.

The event brought together local, regional and national organisations including NGOs, farmers, policy makers, landlords, investors and government bodies to discuss the changing agricultural landscape across North Devon and the vital role natural capital has in protecting the goods and services we derive from this remarkable countryside.

Specific North Devon landscape challenges and the pressures on both the farming system and nature formed part of the conversations, along with how market investments and government subsidies would need to support a transition to a more integrated and holistic system that produces food while protecting the environment.

Joining the group after the seminar, the Prince of Wales listened to its main findings and spoke about the work he has been doing over the years.

He also spoke with representatives of some of the activities taking place across North Devon under the auspices of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve such as the North Devon Catchment Partnership.

Our CEO Dr Laurence Couldrick highlighted our work in the area to protect and restore the streams and rivers across the Taw and Torridge.

Laurence said: “The visit was a great success and showed the drive to integrate planning, policy and processes to improve the way we manage the landscape in a more sustainable and balanced manner, both now and for future generations.”

Note: Natural capital is the parts of our natural surroundings such as air, minerals, woods, rivers and soil which provide us with services and goods i.e., building materials, drinking water, and food. These benefits are known as ecosystem services or nature’s contribution to people.

Photo caption: Our CEO Dr Laurence Couldrick enjoys a conversation with Prince Charles about our charity’s work in North Devon. Photo credit: Carl Klinkenborg