Our orchard surrounds the kitchen garden creating a hedge with pleached apple trees from the Gravenstein and Notary varieties. If you walk around the edges of the garden, you’ll also find a series of pear trees.
Orchards are priority habitats under the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan and therefore perform an important role in our gardens.
The relevance of orchards is related to the wide range of environmental benefits they offer, which include their ability to sequester carbon, mitigate stormwater runoff and provide a source of nectar for pollinating insects including bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Moreover, as deep-rooted, long-lived perennials, fruit trees have time to adapt to local conditions and be more resilient. Once a tree is established, it can yield fruit year after year for decades, requiring little human input when compared to the growing, planting, weeding, watering and pest control involved in the cultivation of annual vegetables.