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".
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.
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.