Young apple tree in orchard

Traditional orchards were once valuable habitats for a plethora of species. They provide nectar, sweet fruits and grassland, hedges and ancient trees for shelter.

Unfortunately, they are becoming rather few and far between. A few years ago the family and gardeners were surprised to dig out old plans for an orchard site. The plans show that they once stood at the front gates of Belvoir Castle! With a passion for history and excitement about the sanctuary, this could be for people and animals alike the team got to work. The grounds workers have spent the last two years planting over 250 mixed apple and pear trees across three orchards. They have also extended it on the banks of the Westminster pond and canal. Though these trees are young now, we hope they will flourish and grow to outlive us all providing tranquillity and nourishment for years to come.

Our third and final orchard is being completed currently. We hope to dedicate it to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the Platinum Jubilee ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ project. Check out our habitat fact files to learn more about the role orchards play in the environment.

Orchard from a birds eye view

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