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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 11:40 GMT
Charles gets stuck into rural life
Prince Charles with Joe and Hazel Relph at Yew Tree Farm
The Prince first stayed at the B&B last year
The Prince of Wales checked out of his favourite 25-a-night bed and breakfast in the Lake District on Wednesday.

Prince Charles has spent two days in Cumbria after booking in to the 18th century Yew Tree Farm, a converted farmhouse in the village of Rosthwaite, where he first stayed a year ago.

After leaving, the Prince said he had a "wonderful" time.

"Like most B&Bs, people come back every year like a returning swallow," he added.

Prince Charles is in the county on a two-day visit looking at rural issues.

He first visited the cobblestone-walled farmhouse last year in an attempt to boost the region's tourist industry following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Local hunt

Then the couple who run the guesthouse estimated it would take them and other local farmers five years to recover from the crisis.

This year Joe and Hazel Relph welcomed the Prince back to show him the difference a year had made to the local community.

During his stay, the 54-year-old Prince spent his time relaxing and braving the torrential rain to go walking with local farmers on the Blencathra hunt in Mungrisdale, near Keswick.

The Prince left by helicopter to fly to Caldbeck to see the work of a rural revival initiative he launched nearly four years ago.

Farm shop

The Northern Fells Rural Project focuses on the needs of a wide range of people, including the old, young and the disabled.

It supports schemes such as Project Minibus - a volunteer service providing flexible transport for people across several parishes.

He was also due to visit the tiny toffee shop which supplies sweets for his own outlet on the Highgrove estate to see for himself how the hand-made confectionery is produced

The Prince was then moving on to Plumgarths Farm Shop to be shown the difficulties faced by local producers in getting their wares stocked in a wider marketplace.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The report has been widely pre-judged as a whitewash"

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