Orchards contain elements of woodland, grassland, and hedgerow habitat, making them a diverse mosaic, perfect for a multitude of species. Key elements include:
BLOSSOM: Blossoming apple and pear trees provide a feast for local pollinators such as bees and butterflies. As pollinators are declining in the UK, the way we manage our orchards can be vital for struggling populations.
DEADWOOD: Although our orchard is brand new, as fruit trees get older they often crack and hollow out, providing the perfect home for invertebrates, fungi, birds, and bats. Trees actually decay in order to recycle nutrients in their trunks to extend their lifespan and can thrive and produce fruit for many years after this.
FRUIT: The real gem of an orchard is, of course, the fruit. Not only is this an exciting prospect for us, being able to produce apple juice and ciders for summer, but the spare, holey, bruised, or overripe fruit provides nutrients for birds, beetles, and even hedgehogs. Find out more about the different species on the Belvoir Estate here.