McVitie’s Digestives supports National Countryside Week
United Biscuits is pleased to announce that its McVitie’s Digestives range is supporting this year’s National Countryside Week, which runs from 9th – 16th July. The Week, organised by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, of which McVitie’s Digestives are a founding supporter, aims to raise awareness of the importance of the countryside to the UK and the serious issues facing its rural communities and farmers.
The rural economy employs 5.5 million people, with domestic food and drink production contributing a massive £22 billion to the UK economy. Yet the countryside is under greater threat than we realise. Around 800 village shops are closing each year, the average age of upland farmers is 58 and 60,000 new entrants into farming are needed over the next decade to ensure our countryside continues to provide the food we need.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund aims to help the rural community deal with these issues by funding projects which improve the sustainability of British farming and rural communities, and encouraging people to appreciate the countryside and not take it for granted. To date the Fund has given over £1.1 million to 35 successful projects across the country including The Farmer Network, which trains young people to become hill farmers in Cumbria. Thanks to grants from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, 9,000 children have been taken on farm visits by FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) or have learnt about the countryside, 50 rural pubs in Wales are being supported to take on community services and 40 rural communities are being mentored to set up village shops. All the projects are essential for safeguarding the future of the countryside.
Through National Countryside Week, the Fund aims to remind people of the value of the countryside, why it shouldn’t be taken for granted and to encourage people to think what they can do to help. The Fund is also encouraging groups and individuals to organise their own fundraising efforts and has launched a fundraising pack, available from www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund logo can be found on packs across the McVitie’s Digestives range.