Dates for National Countryside Week 2012 Announced
14 June 2012
This year’s National Countryside Week, supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, will run from 9th – 16th July to raise awareness of the importance of the countryside to the UK and the serious issues facing its rural communities and farmers.
The rural economy employs 5.5 million people, with domestic food and drink production contributing a massive £22 billion to the UK economy. Yet the countryside is under greater threat than we realise. Around 800 village shops are closing each year, the average age of upland farmers is 58 and 60,000 new entrants into farming are needed over the next decade to ensure our countryside continues to provide the food we need.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund aims to help the rural community deal with these issues by funding projects which improve the sustainability of British farming and rural communities, and encouraging people to appreciate the countryside and not take it for granted. To date the Fund has given over £1.1 million to 35 successful projects across the country including The Farmer Network, which trains young people to become hill farmers in Cumbria. Thanks to grants from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, 9,000 children have been taken on farm visits by FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) or learnt about the countryside, 50 rural pubs in Wales are being supported to take on community services and 40 rural communities are being mentored to set up village shops. All the projects are essential for safeguarding the future of the countryside.
Through National Countryside Week, the Fund aims to remind people of the value of the countryside, why it shouldn’t be taken for granted and to encourage people to think what they can do to help. The Fund is also encouraging groups and individuals to organise their own fundraising efforts and has launched a fundraising pack, available from our support the countryside page.
There are a number of ways in which the public can show their support for the countryside by getting involved in National Countryside Week:
· Look for The Prince’s Countryside Fund logo on pack when shopping: Brands that provide financial support to the Fund can use the logo on their products. By buying products carrying the logo you will show our supporting companies that their support for the countryside is appreciated. The more successful the products with the logo are, the more businesses will want to contribute to the Fund.
· Run fundraising events to support The Prince’s Countryside Fund. Fundraising packs can be downloaded here.
· Make a small donation – text PCF to 70300 to donate £3 to the Fund
Or simply get out in the countryside to enjoy a great day out and remember how much you appreciate it and how important it is to the UK.
Victoria Harris, Project Director for The Prince’s Countryside Fund said, “With the Jubilee and the Olympics, this is a great year of celebration for Britain. We are asking people not to forget the countryside at a time when farming and the rural economies needs our help most.”
To find out more join the Countryside Club and receive our free newsletter or join our online community on Facebook or Twitter. Further details of events and activities during National Countryside Week will be announced over the coming weeks.