PRNCE Charles received a warm welcome from the delighted South Somerset District Council ranger team when he visited Ham Hill Country Park.

The Duchy of Cornwall own 25 hectares of the most popular recreational land at Ham Hill and the Prince of Wales spent around an hour taking in the area, which includes the iconic war memorial and stone circle.

SSDC’s countryside ranger team manage the land on behalf of the Duchy, as part of the wider Ham Hill Country Park.

Countryside ranger Paul McNeill took the opportunity to explain about land management undertaken by the team and the contribution of many, dedicated volunteers who help out on the site every week.

He said: “A huge majority of the Duchy's land is part of the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Hamdon Hill, designated to protect the massive Iron Age and later Roman earthworks that make Ham Hill so important.

“Our role is to manage the habitats on top of the ancient monument and protect the archaeological remains that lie beneath our feet.

"We walked through one of the busiest areas of the site on a lovely day and the small herd of Red Devon cattle behaved impeccably – coming to meet HRH just as we explained about their conservation grazing of the site and how this encourages wildflowers on the calcareous soils.

“HRH is patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and seemed pleased to see the Duchy land being managed so appropriately.

"It was a pleasure to present him with two jars of Ham Hill honey, made by bees in hives on Ham Hill, which forage flowers like birds foot trefoil and scabious in the summer grasslands on the hill."

Katy Menday, SSDC countryside manager, said: “It was a huge privilege for us to accompany HRH on a visit to Ham Hill.

"This is a very special place for many people and it was a wonderful experience to explain about the wildlife, geology and history that make Ham Hill and the country park a treasured location for local people and visitors to the area.”