Fresh from a trip down under, a young auctioneer had a rather royal appointment.
Ian Atkinson, 23, from Scorton, near Garstang, had just returned from a study trip to New Zealand and Australia, in time to help with lambing a flock of 650 sheep on his family farm.
And, alongside four of his fellow North West Auction apprentices, Ian met with HRH Prince Charles when he paid a visit to a new, state-of-the-art rural business site, J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands in South Lakeland, Cumbria.
Ian said: “It was a great honour to meet The Prince, he asked about my studies and my recent trip to New Zealand and Australia.
“He came across as knowledgeable and down to earth.”
As well as meeting with the group of young apprentices Prince Charles witnessed the launch of a Herdwick brand and the process to guarantee the authenticity of Lakeland Herdwick lamb followed by a special auction of Lakeland Herdwick prime lambs.
HRH also met with L&K Group directors and staff and unveiled a plaque.
Chairman John Drinkall, who manages a hill farm with his sons on the Duke of Westminster’s Abbeystead Estate near Lancaster said; The Prince seemed to enjoy meeting a good cross section of the agricultural community including the many varied tenants who provide a range of services.
“He has seen first-hand a rural auction centre fit for the 21st possible environment to market their produce.
Ian, who studied Rural Enterprise and Land Management, is now working towards becoming a fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.