Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Our new President combines passion with action!

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 16:42

Charles with one of his Gloucester cows Charles with one of his Gloucester cows Lucy Blyth

9 October 2018

CPRE Gloucestershire is delighted to welcome Charles Martell as our new President. As Campaign and Marketing Manager at the Branch, I was given the opportunity to catch up with Charles last month to ask him about his passions and his motivations.

In my interview with Charles, my first question, “What motivates you?” received a simple and succinct two-word answer, “Gloucester Cattle!” Charles explained, “These cattle (there were only 68 left in the world in 1972) formed the landscape around us. They were used to farm the land and work it with traditional yokes for hundreds of years”. 

Charles, who is the present High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, speaks in a language that encompasses all that we, at CPRE, are hoping to express. For example, Charles points out “Rural people, and our native breeds, are an integral part of our heritage, the living landscape that has been nurtured and cultivated over centuries, in a mutually beneficial manner. Let’s not forget that breeds like the Gloucester Cattle are older than Gloucester Cathedral and look how well we look after that now!”

When Charles talks about his other passions, making cheese and growing hundreds of native Gloucestershire pear and apple trees, he always refers  back to the now, not the past, how they are grown now and how they are cultivated for the future. Often we associate passions of heritage and history as something gone, just to be remembered, but Charles’s own farm and businesses are about the present. His cheeses and fruit spirits are for today’s markets and sold all over the world.

I was particularly taken with Charles view of the ecological advantages of growing orchards to produce fruit for distilling as a farming method. As opposed to the methods to producing gin, vodkas and whisky which rely on ploughed up fields dedicated to wheat, maize and sugarcane, his ciders and spirits come from fruit, the products of trees. “These orchard allow cows to graze beneath, they tie up carbon and are great for pollinators. When I have an acre of land it is doubled skywards with the growth of trees”.

Charles is hoping to help promote our new LOVE RURAL LIFE campaign. The aim of this campaign is to connect people’s passion for the countryside with the need to protect it. Charles epitomises everything that Love Rural Life is about: Passion, Protection and Action. 

 

This article is featured in our new Autumn Newsletter, which can be downloaded below.

Lucy Blyth, Campaign and Marketing Manager

Download Autumn Newsletter 2018

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