PRINCE Charles, a great friend of the Yorkshire Dales, may have other things on his mind at present but it will not stop him launching a new campaign for affordable rural housing today (February 18).
Stepping away from the controversy over his planned marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles, he will demonstrate his deep concern by launching a widely backed initiative to give practical help and advice to planners, builders and local authorities.
The launch, at St James Palace in London, will be attended by representatives of more than 160 companies, government departments and charities who have been persuaded by the Prince to join the search for a solution to one of the countryside's most pressing problems.
Their common aim, according to the Countryside Agency, one of the bodies involved, is "to help local people remain in their communities and keep their schools, shops, pubs and other services alive."
The Prince is a regular visitor to the Yorkshire Dales and has discussed the affordable housing problem with many local people. Famously, he also dropped in for a pint at a Stainforth pub because he is known to believe that the village pub is a key social centre in rural life.