Former pupil of Plymtree School, Megan Gimber, is encouraging the restoration of traditional orchards as wildlife havens. See the article about "restoring traditional orchards for wildlife" on the BBC's British Wildlife pages:
Britain's traditional orchard habitats are in decline across the country, threatening the rich biodiversity they support. People's Trust for Endangered Species is offering grants to orchard owners to help them improve the condition of their land for wildlife. We have seen a dramatic loss in the number of traditional orchards over the last few decades, with 90% of traditional orchards disappearing from our landscape. Condition assessments show that of those remaining, only 9% provide ‘excellent’ long term wildlife habitat, with 45% in ‘declining’ condition.
This is a disaster for the thousands of species that live in and depend upon orchards, which provide a hugely rich habitat for biodiversity. One recent study, for example, looked at just three orchards and counted over 1800 species in them.
At People’s Trust for Endangered Species we are offering several types of support for orchard owners to help them improve the condition of these habitats, with a focus on grants to promote and preserve the varieties in orchards around the country.
Free grafting kits are now available for orchard owners to help them get new trees into older orchards, securing continuity of the habitat for future years. The kit includes rootstock, grafting tape and grafting wax and can be requested by visiting the PTES orchard grants page.
There is also a grafting guide for orchard owners on our new orchard advice centre and according to our resident
orchard experts, it’s easier than you think!
Our orchard project aims to improve the condition of traditional orchards around the country by providing guides to wildlife sympathetic orchard management, giving grants to help replant old traditional orchards and raising awareness of the value orchards provide to our wildlife. You can find out more about the project on our traditional orchards page.