The Prince of Wales has issued a stark warning about the threat to Britain’s native plants and trees from foreign pests and diseases, saying he fears a “wasteland”.
Speaking on the BBC2 show Gardeners’ World, he called on those buying plants to ask garden centres about their bio-security policy and where their stock was sourced.
And he urged plant nurseries to “react quicker in terms of quarantining” to stop the spread of threats from abroad.
The heir to the throne was interviewed for the show earlier in the year on his Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, where he has established a garden.
Charles told one of the show’s presenters, Adam Frost: “I remember Dutch Elm disease all those years ago and that was totally devastating here in Gloucestershire…”
He went on to say: “And now of course we’re faced by a multitude of threats of every kind of disease.”
He added: “The biggest fear is that we end up with a wasteland here. Having seen more and more of these pests, particularly from the Far East coming…”
The prince went on to say: “I don’t think people realise just how dangerous it is, unless you know that where you’re getting your plants from has a proper bio-security policy in place.”