In 2017, the Prince of Wales took over the management of The Queen’s Norfolk estate at Sandringham. A year later in 2018, the Prince along with his team began to convert the estate into a fully organic operation.
Over the last year, Country Life has documented the conversion and the work that has gone in to the efforts.
Prince Charles explained why natural and sustainable farming is so vital for the soil, wildlife, and our own health.
He said: “Since the beginning of the 1980s, when I first had responsibility for managing some land in my own right at Highgrove, I have wanted to focus on an approach to food production that avoids the impact of the predominant, conventional system of industrialised agriculture, which, it is increasingly clear to see, is having a disastrous effect on soil fertility, biodiversity and animal and human health.”
“It has always seemed to me somewhat logical to embrace a farming system that works with Nature and not against her.”
The Prince is taking a more holistic approach to deliver myriad ecological and commercial benefits across the 21,000-acre estate. Located near King’s Lynn, the estate has become a much-loved country retreat of British monarchs since 1862. As part of the conversion, a flock of 3,000 sheep have been introduced to the estate, providing natural fertillser, new trees, and other crops. Some older staples of the farm have had to go because it can’t be farmed organically, like sugar beets.
Prince Charles said:”There is a near constant flow of ideas, which I discuss with the wonderfully knowledgeable — and long-suffering — estate team.
“This could be innovative sources of organic fertiliser, niche crops, adding value by converting farm produce into products to be sold in the estate shop, targeted habitat restoration for threatened species and carbon sequestration, as well as the new and evolving opportunities around creating a marketplace for biodiversity credits.”
The Prince discusses more of the transformation at Sandringham in the 19 May 2021 Country Life magazine. It can be purchased and viewed digitally, or a hard copy is available for order.