THE Prince of Wales revealed his green fingers during a visit to a North Yorkshire sheep farm this week.

He was being shown around a gardening tool workshop at Hill Top Farm on the North York Moors at Spaunton, when he showed interest in a new-style garden fork.

He told staff: "I'm going to have to buy one of these."

After it was suggested he probably did not do a lot of gardening himself, Prince Charles replied: "You'd be surprised."

The garden fork, made by Lazy Dog Tools on the farm premises, was later presented to him by farm owner Philip Trevelyan.

The Prince was visiting North Yorkshire with farmers and business leaders as part of his Business in the Community programme.

Swaledale sheep looked on in interest as the Prince was shown around the fields of the farm, with views to the surrounding moors.

He donned black wellies and a camel-coloured coat for the bracing walk and also visited the farm's organic flour mill, which provides ingredients to Betty's tea shop in Harrogate.

Master baker Robin Osburn presented the royal visitor with a cob loaf at the mill.

Mr Osburn later said: "He's come to improve links between local farms like this one and heads of businesses like Betty's.

"It's really good that you can make a loaf of bread that is grown locally from a local farm.

"We've developed this loaf especially from flour made here and it is a real honour to present it to the Prince."

The mill, which was opened in 2006, uses grains from several farms in the area to produce flour.

Natalie Warriner, chairman of Ryedale District Council, said Prince Charles had always been interested in the farm's organic food production.

She said: "This farm is the only real organic place in the area. Farming of any sort is very hard anyway, and to stick with it because of your principles, is something to be commended."

The Prince left his gardening fork and cob loaf in a safe place before joining delegates from the Seeing Is Believing programme for a meeting on sustainable hill farming.

The scheme invites senior business leaders to see for themselves how businesses can play a role in tackling Britain's most pressing social issues.