The National Sheep Association has named Prince Charles as the winner of the 2012 George Hedley Memorial Award.
The award is presented annually to recognise an individual for their outstanding contribution to the sheep sector.
The award, presented annually since 1960, is given to honour the memory of George Hedley, a highly respected farmer from the Borders who was involved with the NSA (then the National Sheep Breeders Association) for many years.
It was while he was chairman of NSBA, travelling to a council meeting in London on January 26, 1960, that he was tragically killed in a car accident.
John Geldard, NSA chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted to name HRH The Prince of Wales as a deserving recipient of this prestigious award. In its 52-year history the George Hedley Memorial Award has recognised a wealth of great people who have made incredible contributions to the industry, and it is a pleasure to add a member of the royal family to that list for the first time.
“No other individual can be said to have such a holistic approach to supporting the sheep sector as the Prince of Wales.
“Be it his patronage of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, various breed societies and industry organisations, his instigation of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, forming the Campaign for Wool or championing young people through the Prince’s Countryside Fund, his passion for the sector and upland sheep farming is abundantly clear.
“Through all his initiatives he has sought to add value to our meat and wool to ensure better returns, but also raise the profile of our sector and demonstrate the environmental and wider benefits of sheep farming to the rural economy.”