HRH The Prince of Wales visited the Rheged Centre near Penrith, attending a reception of upland farmers, wool campaigners, chefs and children of farming families - all connected to the iconic Lakeland breed of sheep, The Herdwick.
The visit recognised the importance of upland farming to maintaining the landscape, community, craft and culture. It also highlighted the work of two charities of which HRH The Prince of Wales is patron; The Prince's Countryside Fund and Campaign for Wool.
HRH The Prince of Wales was welcomed by 50 children of local farming families and greeted on a carpet made from Herdwick wool, provided by John Barraclough from Wools of Cumbria. The centre was festooned with distinctive Herdwick bunting, knitted especially for the visit by Marion Woolcott, Chair of Woolclip.
Central to the visit was a viewing of Ian Lawson's photography exhibition Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland. The striking exhibition neatly unites farmer to landscape, and portrays the lives of modern day shepherds who shape the landscape of the Lake District.
During the reception HRH was shown a Herdwick textile installation, meeting individuals from the Campaign for Wool that included carpet, fabric, fashion, art and insulation manufacturers, showing the diversity and innovation of Herdwick wool in today's textile industry.
The Campaign for Wool, initiated by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010 to raise awareness of the natural, sustainable story of wool has gained international profile in its five years with over 400 leading brands supporting it across the world.
The Campaign for Wool's Chairman Nicholas Coleridge said "Ever since HRH The Prince of Wales inspired and convened the Campaign for Wool six years ago, he has been passionate about boosting the wool industry and championing the future of young farmers. His Campaign has already made a big difference to the perception of wool around the world, so it is fitting that HRH should meet some of the beneficiaries of his initiative".
We are delighted to be able to offer our customers Herdwick Top
fibre - perfect for hand spinning.
Source: Campaign for Wool
Photo: David Jones