Millions of pounds worth of soft fruit could be left to rot in fields because of a shortage of foreign pickers, farmers have warned.

Thousands of pickers from Poland and Eastern Europe are returning home because of the falling value of the pound and restrictions on seasonal workers, according to the Independent.

“We are looking at some big shortages,” said Richard Hirst, chairman of the National Farmers' Union horticulture board. “The crunch will come in the next two or three weeks when the soft fruit season starts in earnest.”

“We are aware that growers have not been getting the numbers of pickers that they wanted and as a result people will have crops out there that they won't be able to harvest,” he added.