How King Charles’ ingenuity helps to save vulnerable creatures from ‘drowning’

His Majesty gave Pam Ayres a guided tour around the Highgrove House garden and she revealed he's put something very important in place...

King Charles’ ingenuity revealed, seen here during a visit to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
(Image credit: Photo by WPA Pool-Ben Birchall/Getty Images)

King Charles’ ingenuity is reportedly helping to save vulnerable UK creatures from “drowning” at his Highgrove House residence in Gloucestershire. 


His Majesty has long been known for his passion for conservation and earlier this year King Charles spoke out amid the “immense crisis” of climate change and also announced a 70 trees for 70 years tribute to Queen Elizabeth in honor of her Platinum Jubilee year. The King has also been hands-on when it came to designing the garden of his beloved Gloucestershire home Highgrove House. Flowers picked from this treasured residence were included in the wreath of flowers on Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at her State Funeral on September 19.  

The King spent many years working on the Highgrove gardens and is set to open up about the process of designing them in an extra special episode of The Cotswolds & Beyond with Pam Ayres. Ahead of the programme airing on Channel 5 on October 7, Pam has revealed that King Charles’ ingenuity has helped to save one of Britain’s vulnerable species from “drowning”. 

The Cotswolds & Beyond with Pam Ayres featuring King Charles

(Image credit: Channel 5, The Cotswolds & Beyond with Pam Ayres - Friday 7th October at 8pm on Channel 5)

Recorded before Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral (opens in new tab), Pam visited Highgrove Gardens and met with the then-Prince of Wales. Speaking about this exciting visit with the eldest of the late Queen’s children, Pam reflected upon one particularly clever design detail that has been incorporated into the ponds at Highgrove. 

“He showed me around and we talked about the garden and all the beautiful wild orchids he's got there and how he's got these wonderful hedgehog escapes in his ponds,” Pam explained, before sharing that this isn’t a universally-found feature.

She added, “If hedgehogs fall in, unlike in a lot of ponds where they've got vertical sides and they just drown, in his ponds they can scramble out. It was so fantastic to hear about these nice little touches like that he’s got in the gardens. We also talked about the sad fact that so many wild animals, species and insects have declined and whether anything can be done to reverse it.”

Close-Up Of Hedgehog On Grassy Field in the UK

(Image credit: Edwin Godinho / EyeEm via Getty)

In 2020, according to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (opens in new tab), hedgehogs were classified as “vulnerable to extinction”. This clever touch to help ensure the safety of Highgrove’s hedgehogs showcases King Charles’ ingenuity - as well as his enduring passion for protecting wildlife.

During the filming of the special episode, the senior royal, who was then first in the royal line of succession, personally escorted host Pam on a guided tour of the garden that he spent the last four decades nurturing. 

A general view of the gardens at Highgrove House

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

It is adjacent to his private residence and run by The Prince’s Foundation and King Charles and Pam discussed his commitment to sustainability at Highgrove and beyond and his love of gardening. Although Highgrove House is the private residence of King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, the gardens are open for visits on selected dates between April-October each year.

The Cotswolds & Beyond with Pam Ayres - Friday 7th October at 8pm on Channel 5

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.