Thursday, 13 May 2010

Prince Charles in NI: Day Two

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the National Trust today, the second day of his trip to Northern Ireland.

HRH met staff and volunteers at Mount Stewart, County Down, and enjoyed a tour of the unique and extensive gardens. He also planted a Japanese Katsura tree to commemorate the occasion.

The Trust's Spade Maker, Colin Dawson, assisted with the planting. The spade used was made at Patterson's Spade Mill in Templepatrick, County Antrim.

After sampling local lavender-flavoured ice cream, the Prince viewed the 18th century house, including portraits, sculptures and memorabilia. The paintings included the Hambletonian Rubbing Down by the 18th century artist George Stubbs.

HRH was welcomed by the National Trust regional chairman, Mr Roy Bailie, at a reception with around eighty guests. He accepted a gift of a handcrafted wooden bowl made from Mount Stewart yew.

Prince Charles also visited the award-winning Barnwell Farm in the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

The farm owner, Michael Calvert, beat national competition to win the 2009 National Nature of Farming award for his management of the Greyabbey farm which can trace its heritage back more than 200 years.

HRH toured the farmland, taking a special interest in the rough grass margins habitat and restored coppiced hedge.

He spoke to a local hedge-laying expert and discussed a small display of traditional and modern hedging tools.

At a separate meeting, HRH talked with the RSPB about the importance of providing habitats for declining bird populations.

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