Prince Charles was presented with a jar of anti-wrinkle cream while visiting a new centre for farm and food education today.

Beekeeper Tanya Hawkes, whose business Therapi produces honey skincare, joked with the Prince: “I’m actually 150 years old.”

At his own request Prince Charles toured, and officially opened, FarmED at Shipton-under-Wychwood, a showcase for farming systems that help to reverse climate change and increase biodiversity while promoting healthy food – a cause close to the Prince’s heart.

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Mrs Hawkes, who keeps bees in natural beehives in hollowed out tree trunks, said she was slightly concerned he might get stung.

She said: “We’ve had some cold weather and rain and the bees are keen to get out and start foraging. I was concerned he might end up in their flightpath. ”

Prince Charles, who arrived in an electric Audi, was greeted by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Brian Buchan and exchanged Namaste greetings with councillors.

'He was very interested in the soil'

The farm’s founders and owners Ian and Celene Wilkinson, who also run Cotswold Seeds, demonstrated to the Prince how their model of regenerative farming creates healthier soil by asking him to study two clumps.  

Mr Wilkinson said: “He seemed very interested in the soil and that’s really the start of the story.”

He also toured the community-supported kitchen garden which provides vegetable boxes for 125 local subscriber families.

Prince Charles spent time chatting to Hallam Duckworth, 28, who owns a micro herd of three dairy cows and three calves on the farm.

Oxford Mail: HRH was shown the sights at FarmEd. Picture: Ed NixHRH was shown the sights at FarmEd. Picture: Ed Nix

With owners and founders Ian and Celene Wilkinson. Picture Ed Nix

Mr Duckworth said: “He was really interested and these are the sort of things he encourages on his own farm. Apparently he likes tenancy applications that focus on the regenerative approach – it’s the way things are going.

“His advice was ‘just keep going’ which was rather generous. He was ever so friendly, you can tell he’s interested. He asks questions not just talking at you.”

Mr Wilkinson, whose farm includes an educational space and farm to fork kitchen, added: “We wanted to create a place where people could talk about how farming could adapt to climate change and biodiversity loss. Ten years ago when we were talking about this it seemed extreme.”

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He added: “Prince Charles is interested in this sort of work and has been for a long time. We had an approach a while ago and then it was postponed for Covid. Of course it’s very flattering. He’s interested and well informed, he’s quite keen.”

Prince Charles was also introduced to farmers from the North East Cotswold Cluster Group and local growers and food producers and told them: “You have to be enormously imaginative. I’m full of admiration.”

Oxford Mail:

Chatting to Hallam Duckworth of The Dairy at Honeydale. Picture Ed Nix

Mr Wilkinson said it was “a real privilege” to ask the Prince to unveil a plaque “made here only yesterday”.

The Prince replied that he was thrilled to see “the marvellous things that you are doing here.

“What you take out you need to replace and put back. Traditional societies around the world have always known that.”

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