Prince Charles urges 'harmony with nature'


Prince Charles says he thinks "his best thoughts" in the countryside

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Britons must "work in harmony with nature" to preserve rural areas for the benefit of "our successors, particularly grandchildren", the Prince of Wales has told the BBC.

The prince, due to become a grandfather in July, was interviewed for BBC One's Countryfile programme, which he guest-edited.

He warned that nature was "a great deal more powerful than we are".

And he said he had "looked forward enormously" to having a grandchild.

"We need to think about what kind of world we're handing on to our successors, particularly grandchildren," he said in an interview with presenters Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury.

"If you think of it in those terms, it should make us reflect a little bit about the way we do things so we don't ruin it for them.

"That's why it's so important, I think, to work in harmony with nature rather than thinking somehow we can ignore, dominate, separate ourselves from nature."

He said that, "unless we take trouble and nurture, pay our respect and reverence to nature, she's a great deal more powerful than we are".

'Terrific exercise'

During the programme, Charles - who set up the Prince's Countryside Fund in 2010 to raise cash to support countryside communities - is shown visiting some of his rural initiatives as well as a south London school which has seen improved exam results after helping pupils to grow their own vegetables.

Start Quote

I spend my life stamping about and I have things I write down - that's where the best thoughts come from”

End Quote Prince Charles

His organic farm on his Highgrove estate, in Gloucestershire, is also featured, where he is shown talking about his love for building hedges and walking.

The prince says hedge building is a "terrific exercise and, at the same time, it's a sort of hobby or interest to see if you can get better at doing it".

"When you first lay a hedge, if you do it well, it looks so marvellous and then the fun is to see, three or four years later, it looks like a hedge that's always been there."

And he says that, "rather like some people need a cigarette, I need a walk".

"I spend my life stamping about and I have things I write down - that's where the best thoughts come from."

Asked by presenter Julia Bradbury about the pregnancy of his daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, and whether becoming a grandfather made him feel old, he said: "Of course it does, to a certain degree, because you can't believe that suddenly that is beginning to happen in your life.

"It's a lovely thought and I've looked forward enormously to that relationship with a grandchild."

The prince is also shown in Sunday night's programme meeting TV chef Jamie Oliver during a visit to Carshalton Boys Sports College, south London, where he revealed his favourite food at school was "Marmite on fried bread".

Countryfile: A Royal Appointment will be shown on BBC One and BBC One HD at 19:00 GMT on Sunday.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    The greed of property developers who build massive blocks of apartments instead of houses with gardens are depriving generations of children the chance to understand nature and its benefits. Charles could alleviate this problem by releasing some of his own land if he really cared, but probably never will and he will just continue to lecture and pontificate from his ivory tower.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    If he had his way we'd all be living on crofts and doffing our hats when he rode past. Hitler had the same dream, I don't pay his ideas any head either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    well give the land back that your family stole from the people then we can all enjoy it without the fear of being shot for trespassing

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    At least he is trying. I live in the city and have a small patch of woods opposite...instead of the community making the most of this little patch of wonder they use it to dump rubbish, do their drug dealing and as a dog poo bin. Makes me sad,when are we going to start looking after our world doesnt have to cost anything.just the small things like 'Take you litter home' would help!

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Nature is all about natural selection. Monarchy is all about unnatural selection. Yes ... let's get more in harmony with nature.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Good on you Sir.
    Without our countryside we are poorer and once it has gone it has gone. Nothing invigorates the body and soul than going out onto a Dartmoor Tor and forgetting ones troubles. Thats generally what my precious weekends are all about, getting away from the stressed of working life and connecting with the landscape.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    I urge Charles to stop interfering in politics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Tell me are guillotines environmentally friendly?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Of all the families who have caused huge damage to this land over the centuries, his is surely the very worst. A relative few chopped down all the forests to build endless ships for empire, and to get rich off by selling as fuel, as they divvied up the lands up between themselves as private property estates, leaving little but a barren landscape devoid of wildlife behind for future generations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Aston Martin and nature in perfect harmony in Gloucestershire?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Nature? That word has several definitions.

    Has he personally apologised to the excellent Nicholas Witchell yet?

    When I hear the phrase "I can't stand that man", I'm always reminded of Charles Windsor up a mountain, pandering to the Press corps in exchange for beling left alone for the rest of the time.
    The Press are easily bought off, it appears.

    What is this story designed to achieve?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    I agree with Charles but my view of the countryside has been ruined by house builders building on greenfield site and not on the large number of brown field sites just because the middle classes want to pretend they live in the countryside as long as there is not any strange animals like cows and sheep to keep them awake at the weekend.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Which planet is this man on?
    Many of his subjects are struggling like hell to make a go of life in this third world backwater.
    He should keep his daft thoughts to himself

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Well said Charles.
    A great deal of our unhappiness is due to our dislocation from our environment.
    Modern life with mutli-media, the demands of employment and the lack of exercise and fresh air have removed our links with nature and we are much poorer for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    As a Londoner I know very little about the countryside, but I do know you cant grow food on concrete. Well done Charles for fighting his corner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    The problem is the prince sees the countryside as the vast unaffected acres in which his family lives and farms. What is needed is a stop to the rape of the areas immediately surrounding our cities and towns. We need accessible countryside and building on some of his acres could leave that near the towns green.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    He's been talking to them rosebushes again? The harmony he's on about never existed since nature is a battlefield, red in tooth and claw. And now we have genetic engineering too. The landscape here is a product of human artifice and has been for thousands of years. Pushing himself expecting some big commission soon? Mumsy will be pleased....?

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Lets have an analysis of Prince Charles' investment portfolio.

    I wonder how many environmentally aggressive (but terribly terribly profitable) companies His Royal Highness has shares in.

    Whats his total fossil fuel consumption, with all the cars, homes and farms?

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Charles is right we have to look after our environment.

    but also most people have to make a living which Charles doesn't have to consider.

    Most of the costly environmental policies we have now embarked upon are the result of a knee jerk reaction by politicians who were panicked by the Green lobby.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Considering that the countryside is the most worthwhile, wonderful thing in Britain it makes me sick every time I see or hear someone entirely willing to wreck a bit of it forever for a bit of money. Good for Charles.


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