Owners are concerned about bacterium Xylella, which could destroy entire lavender fields, just as it has thousands of olive groves in Italy.
By the end of August, the UK’s lavender fields will have been harvested, with the essential oil – long known for its health and wellbeing benefits – going on to grace everything from soaps, oils to cakes.
The French region of Provence is famous for its postcard-perfect rows of lavender, such as those at Notre Dame de Sénanque Abbey. But the UK’s crop has also begun attracting more tourist attention in recent years, boosted by its appeal on social media.
Hitchin Lavender at Cadwell Farm in Hertfordshire, which charges £6 for adults and £3 for children for entry, is reported to have attracted 50,000 visitors this summer, many of them seeking the perfect Instagram picture.
The allure of these fields helps support the British horticultural industry, alongside the nurseries, gardens and retail centres that support more than 550,000 jobs.