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Published by jack elliot


A pleasure a pleasure to spend an Afternoon

in Summer of an Ancient Orchard




Old orchards were once a common feature throughout the countryside,

but small traditional orchards are increasingly rare.


As well as containing some of our rare fruit tree varieties

 an orchard can be a really valuable habitat

for a wide range of species,

from fungi and lichens, insects and other invertebrates,

to birds and mammals (small and not so small).


The absence of herbicide use in most old orchards often contributes further to the range of species that can be found.

With more intensive systems of fruit production,

old orchards can be under threat.


The living branches and the surfaces of bark

and exposed wood of old orchard trees

play host to a variety of mosses, lichens

and often mistletoe.


The hollowing trees can be a wonderful habitat

for hole-nesting birds.

The large amount of deadwood in the trees

provides an important habitat for insects and fungi

including some very rare ones.

For example, the Noble Chafer Gnorimus nobilis is a UK priority beetle associated with old orchards.

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