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Prince endorses giant corks

Giant corks said to be the world's largest will be used at Prince Charles's 'Garden Party to Make a Difference' which is part of his START initiative which aims to encourage people to live more sustainably, and to support local sustainability initiatives.

The giant corks each has the same volume as 4,001 bottles of wine and stencilled words and images tell the story of the material's use in wine closures. The corks were created by the artist Stuart Murdoch for the I Love Natural Cork campaign. The campaign is run by SPCOR, the body that represents the Portuguese cork industry.

TV wine critic Jilly Goolden unveiled the corks at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. Goolden said For me, there isn't a completely satisfactory alternative to real cork as a wine bottle closure. Cork is entirely natural and environmentally sound, to say nothing of the romance, history and theatre of the cork.

Corks face stiff competition from screw-caps and plastic stoppers and arguments have raged for several years over the relative merits of the various formats for how a wine ages, environmental impacts and the level of indicence of wine oxidising, or being 'corked'.
Supporters of natural cork argue that its production in forests around the Mediterranean basin preserves natural habitats, while the material allows wine to mature and develop character as it ages.

The giant corks will be on show on The Mall, outside the gates of the Prince of Wales' residence Clarence House, from the 8th September.