Prince Charles has been near Falmouth this morning on the first of two visits in the Duchy.

The Duke of Cornwall is also patron of The Specialist Cheese Makers Association and has been visiting Lynher Dairies Cheese Company at Ponsanooth.

The royal visitor was given a tour of the award winning Yarg cheese dairy, meeting staff members before joining a short discussion with specialist cheese makers.

The Duke was welcomed on arrival by the Vice Lord Lieutenant James Williams and Catherine Mead OBE, the owner of Lynher Dairies.

His Royal Highness also met Jonathan and Eleanor Hosken, who manage the Lynher Ayrshire Herd that provides milk for cheese to the dairy.

Prince Charles was able to tour the cheese-making room, where he met operations manager Liam Cox, who gave an explanation and demonstration of the cheese making process.

It was then on to the nettling room, where frozen, locally-sourced stinging nettles are rinsed before being placed on the wheels of cheese.

He was also able to visit one of the cheese stores, where around 30 tonnes of the award-winning Cornish Kern cheese is matured for around 20 months.

Afterwards, the prince met members of the Specialist Cheese Makers Association in the packing room for a short private discussion, before unveiling a plaque outside to mark the visit.


The Prince of Wales visits the nettling room Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

The Prince of Wales visits the nettling room Picture: PA Wire/PA Images


The history of Yarg

Cornish Yarg cheese was invented by Alan Gray (Yarg backwards) in the late 1980s, using an ancient recipe that involved wrapping the finished cheese in nettle leaves to create a rind.

The enzymatic relationship between nettles and cheese promotes cheese maturation and the formation of an edible rind, which not only looks distinctive but imparts a delicate mushroom flavour as it ripens.

In need of a consistent milk supply, Alan Gray sold the recipe to Michael Horrell, a Duchy of Cornwall tenant on Bodmin Moor, who at the time was bottling and delivering milk produced from his herd.

In the early 1990s Catherine Mead met Michael Horrell and a joint venture was formed that resulted in the production of Cornish Yarg in both west and east Cornwall. Michael Horrell retired in 2005 and the production of Cornish Yarg was then moved exclusively to Lynher Dairies. The dairy is owned by Catherine Mead and employs 18 people.

How it is made

Nettles, and more recently wild garlic leaves, are foraged from fields, hedgerows and woodlands to strict standards, 3.5 tonnes of leaves are picked by hand each year and stored frozen. The leaves are applied individually, also by hand, in concentric circles.

The nettles on the maturing cheese attract a natural bloomy white mould, which in turn helps the cheese mature over a four-week period. The wild garlic leaves mature differently to the nettle and impart a light wild garlic flavour.

Cornish Yarg and Wild Garlic Yarg are sold across the UK, in the US, Australia and the Middle East.

They have since been joined by Cornish Kern, winner of the World Cheese Awards in 2017.

Developed in 2016 Cornish Kern is a long maturing hard cheese, a cross between an Alpine cheese and a Gouda.

Where else is Prince Charles going?

The Duke of Cornwall has also visited the recently planted Royal British Legion Centenary Wood in Newquay. His Royal Highness met local veterans and school children before unveiling a plaque dedicating the woodland to The Queen’s Green Canopy.

The Royal British Legion Centenary Wood was planted by The Duchy of Cornwall last year to mark the Centenary of the British Legion. The Duchy planted 100 trees, creating a space where people can reflect and remember the service and sacrifice of the British Armed Forces for generations to come.

It was opened on Armistice Day last year, by The Lord Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolitho.