Prince Charles encourages public to visit farm parks

The Prince of Wales visited Cotswold Farm Park ahead of the 4 July go-ahead for all farm attractions to open
The Prince of Wales visited Cotswold Farm Park ahead of the 4 July go-ahead for all farm attractions to open

Prince Charles has encouraged the public to return to farm attractions when they re-open on 4 July after he visited Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park.

Having been closed for months due to Covid-19, farm parks have lost visitor income while still meeting the usual costs of housing, feeding and caring for animals.

Across England, farm attractions are able to reopen from the Saturday 4 July. They opened on 29 June in Scotland and will open on 3 July in Northern Ireland.

On his visit to the Cotswold park, the Prince of Wales also raised the work of Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST)-accredited farm parks in the survival of British rare breeds.

RBST is the national charity that works to secure the future of rare breed livestock, and the Prince has been its patron since 1986.

Cotswold Farm Park is one of the 21 RBST-accredited farm parks which look after the UK’s rare and critically endangered breeds of farm animals.

Adam Henson, BBC Countryfile host and owner of Cotswold Farm Park, said it was a 'great honour' to welcome Prince Charles before the park's re-opening on 4 July.

"His Royal Highness is incredibly knowledgeable about farming, food production and rural tourism," Mr Henson explained.

"He voiced his encouragement that multi generational families should get back out into the fresh air to enjoy everything that the countryside brings.

"He was particularly impressed by our campsite and new sunset lodges and the importance of staycations to rural businesses.”

To ensure social distancing, visitors can expect a mix of measures including online tickets to control numbers and staggered arrival times to assist social distancing.

Increased reminders to wash and sanitise hands throughout the visit will also be made, and for staff to carry out more regular cleaning and hygiene regimes.

Christopher Price, chief executive of RBST, admitted that the coming few months were going to be 'very difficult' for farm attractions.

"As they make plans to reopen safely, we can all support them and the conservation of rare breeds by visiting as soon as we can and going back regularly throughout the year."