Poet Robert Burns once wrote that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, but when it comes to Great Britain’s Prince Charles and his Garden Party To Make A Difference, perhaps the operative word is rats. Make that lots of large, well-fed rodents measuring up to 30 inches long, in fact.
Who can blame them? The opportunistic critters have found themselves in the middle of a veritable eco-eden at Clarence House, where the Prince also happens to be hosting his greatly anticipated sustainability festival. Amid 100+ displays featuring green lifestyle advice, products, workshops, climate change discussions and live musical/entertainment performances, whiskered rodents have helped themselves to tomatoes and strawberries among other edibles, much to the chagrin of organizers and staff.
A Clarence House representative even acknowledged, “The rats have become more of a problem. There seem to be more – and they are getting bigger” however in keeping with their organic gardening commitment, they are finding it challenging to address them in an eco-friendly and effective manner. Might we suggest a few humane deterrents such as scattering peppermint oil saturated rags around the premises (the scent is positively revolting to them), integrating fast-growing peppermint plants in between each garden planting or enlisting the aid of a clan of shelter-rescued royal cats?