British asparagus farms have made urgent calls for native workers to take on the task of harvesting the vegetable.

There are growing concerns that, due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus, asparagus farms may be unable to secure enough British workers to help harvest the fresh produce and deliver them to the public.

Last year, 98% of the harvest staff who picked British asparagus were from outside the UK.

Bea Renshaw, from Pam Lloyd Food Marketing, said: “There will be a large-scale recruitment campaign to encourage people who are in the UK and looking for work because of the current economic impact of the coronavirus to work on farms.”

She added: “Asparagus is extremely good for you, containing lots of essential vitamins.

"You can still go to the supermarkets and buy asparagus and support British growers.

“It can be served as a side with your bits and bobs from the freezer, or can be added to store cupboard ingredients to make things like risottos, pasta dishes etc.”

British Asparagus, Tomato and Goats Cheese Tart

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

You’ll need:

375g pack fresh ready-rolled puff pastry

120g sundried tomato paste

1 bunch asparagus washed and trimmed

150g soft goat’s cheese

Olive oil

Fresh basil leaves to serve

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Unroll the puff pastry and cut into four equal rectangles. Score a 1cm border around the edge.

Spread the sundried tomato paste over the centre of the pastry, top with the asparagus spears and dot all over with the goat’s cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a few fresh basil leaves on top.