The Prince’s Countryside Fund launched its Land Rover bursary while visiting young farmers in Cumbria learning practical flood resilience driving skills.
Prince Charles met with Cumbrian young farmers last week to launch the Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) Land Rover bursary scheme.
The bursary, which is now in its third year, aims to award up to five inspiring young people aged 21 to 35 the use of a Land Rover Discovery Sport for a year to support the development of their countryside careers.
Claire Saunders, director of the PCF said there is an ’acute need for young people to be supported to enter farming’.
The average age of a British farmer is 59 and only 4 per cent of the UK’s farmers are under 35. Environmental conservation requires an estimated 30,000 new entrants by 2020 to maintain and protect our countryside, while in forestry, 53 per cent of the workforce is over the age of 40.
Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director said: "Land Rover is synonymous with the countryside and we’re looking for the UK’s most enterprising young people who would benefit from the use of a Land Rover Discovery Sport.
"Access to a 4x4 vehicle can be crucial to getting a rural business off the ground.
"By providing a vehicle with capability to tackle the most challenging of rural terrains, space for seven and excellent towing capacity, we are aiming to help five ambitious young people to further their rural careers.”
The Prince of Wales joined the young farmers at the Rookin House Activity Centre near Penrith in their vehicle training as they developed skills in driving and reversing trailers in and around obstacles, learnt how to check water depth and flow of flooding before carefully driving through the water, and navigated their way around an off-road driving circuit.
Ms Saunders said: “There’s an acute need for young people to be supported to enter farming and related careers and a multitude of opportunity waiting for them.
"Whether you’re new to farming, starting a “field to fork” food business or keen to bring new technologies and your skills to the countryside, The Prince’s Countryside Fund is here to support you.
"That’s why we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Land Rover to provide such practical and valuable support to young people starting out in their rural careers.”