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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

King Charles III: A Champion for Nature

As King Charles postpones his public duties to begin his course of treatment, we celebrate some of his important work for wildlife

Video by Royal Reporter Lydia

Patron of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since 1977, King Charles III has supported various campaigns for wildlife across Great Britain. From a letter written to the Prime Minister in 1969 about the decline of salmon stocks in Scottish Rivers to the eight new coins released at the start of his reign, the monarch has never been shy about his commitment to nature. Many of his efforts were decidedly ‘before his time’, when nature conservation was regarded slightly specialist, and he was often dismissed as eccentric. However, at a time when environmental awareness is higher than ever, he has become a figurehead for the movement. Here, we celebrate just a few of his achievements.

  • Launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative: In 2020, King Charles (then Prince of Wales) launched the Sustainable Markets Initiative. The initiative gathers top organisations from around the world including governments, industry and financial services to create a sustainable and prosperous future for humans and nature. The Terra Carta, which was released in 2021, is the guiding mandate for the initiative, outlining the principles that will be prioritised up to 2030.

  • Declined £32 million profit from wind farming: Last year, the king rejected the pay rise, asking for the money to be invested in the ‘public wider good’.

  • Launched the Coronation Food Project: As part of his 75th birthday celebrations, King Charles launched a campaign to tackle food waste and poverty. The campaign will see eight hubs across the UK distributing items to food banks and community kitchens.

  • Founded Duchy Organic: The brand, which sells at high-end supermarket, Waitrose, features organic produce from an organic garden at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire estate. King Charles (then the Prince of Wales) began transforming Highgrove into an organic haven during the 1980s which was met with scepticism, but the project turned out to be a huge success. It now raises millions of pounds for charity.

  • New coins released: Eight new coins were released at the start of the king's reign to reflect this commitment to nature. The coins each featured a threatened species including a hazel dormouse, red squirrel, oak leaf, capercaillie, puffin, Atlantic salmon, bees and national flowers. The coins are set to gradually replace Britain’s existing currency and will help children learn about Britain's wildlife.

  • Reducing his own carbon footprint: We all need to do it, and King Charles knows that he is no exception. He has installed biomass burners and solar panels at his own properties, and is careful about his own energy use.


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