Immigration is crippling rural areas by putting strain on local services, a report by one of the Prince of Wales’s official charities claims.

Immigration has had a “disproportionate impact” on the countryside because migrants are drawn to the “cold and wet” or outdoor jobs that many Britons refuse to do, the report claimed.

The number of migrant workers in rural areas has increased by 186% since 2002, which has caused a shortage of housing, health care and education.

Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgshire have been particularly badly affected, the study said.

Migrant workers must be retained in rural areas, or wages will rise, the report warned.

The report also said rural employers can struggle with making their workers feel welcome in a “culturally-unprepared host community”.

The report was compiled by a working group led by Business in the Community, a charity of which Prince Charles is president. The group included Asda, Duchy Originals and HSBC.

The group has issued a Voluntary Code of Practise for employers.