Prince Charles has warned it is "vital" lost hedgerows are replanted.
The 73-year-old royal insisted it is crucial new hedges are planted because they are "essential" for wildlife and insects, but Britain has lost around half since World War II, with many of those remaining said to be in a poor state of repair.
Speaking as he hosted a hedge laying competition at his Highgrove Estate in his role as Patron of the Hedgelaying Society, Charles told 'The One Show': “I've always felt they’re a vital part of the landscape.
“They also hold the soil together in many ways, prevent erosion, flooding and they link up woods, and copses, and I think it’s so important to replant and try to restore the landscape.
“They also provide essential biodiversity corridors for all the different insects and other creatures that live in them.
“It's vital for dormice and butterflies and it's the management of them which is what these marvellous hedge layers understand.”
The competition, which involved around 50 hedgelayers, took place last month and Charles praised those who took part for their "remarkable" skill.
He said: “I feel enormously proud.
“You’re all a remarkable lot if I may say so, and half the problem is to encourage more people to take this up.
“People often don’t realise in this country how important hedgelayers are and the unique and extraordinary features of them.
“I don’t need to tell you of the destruction that has been wrought over our hedgerows over the last 60 years.
“As a teenager I watched in horror as miles and miles of such a wonderful part of the British landscape was grubbed up in the name of agricultural progress.”
Charles has planted around 15 miles of the natural boundary at Highgrove and his sons, Princes William and Harry, previously spoke of their father's dedication to maintaining his hedges because he "hates fences".
In a documentary for the Prince of Wales' 70th birthday, Harry said: "He takes his policeman hedge-laying. Some come back covered in blood because at some point something he has been cutting has flung up.
"Whichever policeman is on duty at the time puts the sledgehammer and axe in the boot of the car. Off they go. They spend two hours wrestling with bushes to try to lay a hedge because he hates fences. Full credit to him and his policeman."
William added: "They come back looking like they have been in a fight. He isn't just a big voice standing up rattling the drum the whole time.
“There is genuine substance behind what he is talking about. He loves his hedge-laying."
The segment will air on 'The One Show' on BBC One on Monday (24.01.22) evening.