By Nick Collins
The Prince of Wales has hit out at the “fashionable vandalism” of the natural world, claiming land has been “callously and rashly discarded” over decades of neglect.
Techniques for developing and nurturing the environment developed over thousands of years have been abandoned with many native species coming under threat as a result.
Only now are people beginning to realise that endangered plants, trees and animals have an “intrinsic value” and are “crucial to our long term survival”, the Prince said.
The Prince, who has overseen the development of an impressive garden at his Highgrove country home in Gloucestershire over the past three decades, said he has been inspired by desire to preserve rare flora and fauna.
The project has been “one very small attempt to heal the appallingly short-sighted damage done to the soil, the landscape and to our own souls”, he explained.
Writing in You! magazine, the Prince said: “I found myself growing up at a time when so much that had been carefully and lovingly developed, bred, nurtured and improved over thousands of years of trial and error was being callously and rashly discarded.
“Thank God there were various far-sighted people in this country who had taken the trouble to set up organisations to try to save something from this carnage of fashionable vandalism.”
Many organisations dedicated to protecting the environment have helped shape Highgrove’s garden by helping to establish orchards of rare apples, planting heritage vegetables, developing wild flower meadows and the national collection of beeches and hostas, and preserving endangered breeds of farm animal, he added.
The Prince accepted that some people may not find the garden to their taste while others will claim it is not in the “real world” and accuse him of wasting money on an “expensive indulgence”.
“Whatever the case, my enduring hope is that those who visit the garden may find something to inspire, excite, fascinate or soothe them,” he said.