We are very keen to increase the biodiversity here at Castle Fruit Farm for all sorts of reasons.
Firstly, orchards are a wonderful habitat and have a unique part to play in maintaining the richness of our natural world which is being challenged in so many ways – by farming practices, by the insatiable demand for houses and over enthusiastic tidiness ! We are not owners of this land but custodians and have a responsibility to tend and nurture it for future generations as well as make our living. There is happily a symbiotic relationship between good husbandry and promoting biodiversity . We need a good population of insects for pollination. We need to provide all year round sources of pollen and nectar by promoting healthy populations of wildflowers and varied hedges. Our bird population clears the orchards of fallen and unwanted fruit as well as eating bugs and grubs which hopefully is beneficial bearing in mind that we have beneficial insect populations as well as the undesirables !
Last but not least is the joy of hearing the chacking calls of the fieldfares on a cold frosty morning like the ones we have been having , and knowing we are providing an essential feast for these long distance travellers. They have been here long before us and hopefully will continue to thrive if we maintain orchards as part of our landscape diversity. That means keep eating English fruit please ! More about that next blog…
Please take a look at my report about our winter bird tagging activities on the farm.