The Prince of Wales visited one of his "favourite places" in England on Tuesday 4 June 1996.
He was the guest of the the Elm Farm Organic Research centre in Hamstead Marshall, and spoke passionately of his support for the work of the Charitable Trust. The centre was celebrating its 15th anniversary and the Prince spoke fondly to the assembled dignitaries and guests about how his own farm at Highgrove had become organic under the advice and guidance of experts from Elm Farm.
The Prince reached for his notebook when he heard about the recycling scheme being run at the centre in conjunction with Newbury District Council and some intrepid local householders. Centre Director Mr Lawrence Woodward said “He was very interested in the composting scheme and would like to see if they can do it in Tetbury”.
Prince Charles was given a tour by Mr Woodward and saw at first hand the pioneering work in organic farming which has put the centre at the forefront of the developing industry. He was also given the chance to taste bread made from spelt wheat – a re-discovered, non-allergenic strain.
“He liked the bread" said Mr Michael Marriage, who mills the flour from spelt wheat at Doves Farm in Hungerford.
Speaking after an organic lunch, he had high praise for the centre, saying “I cannot speak highly enough of the work done by Elm Farm; even higher of the work currently under way. It is important to remember that organic farming provides three things everybody wants: safe and high-quality food, attractive landscape and rural employment - while avoiding three things almost nobody wants- unnecessary food supplies, set-aside, and the use of chemicals.
The Prince first visited the centre in 1984.