Prince Charles has joined a campaign to save Transylvania's forests because of his family connections to 'Count Dracula'.

Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century nobleman better known by his patronym, Dracula, was a distant ancestor of Charles' great grandmother Queen Mary, wife of George V.

Rapid economic growth in Romania has put the forests of the Carpathian Mountains under threat from development and logging purposes.

The Prince of Wales has said that the forests are some of the last untouched wilderness areas in Europe, and they are to be protected before they are lost, like the woodland that once covered Britain.

"The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country," the Daily Mail quoted the 62-year-old prince as saying.

Charles has recently bought a five-bedroom house in the village of Zalanpatak, which is said to have been founded by one of his Transylvanian ancestors.