Apple season is well and truly underway. Recently we’ve been harvesting the fruits of our labour from some of our community orchards. We’ve now got several orchards in parks and open spaces including Claybury Park, Seven Kings Park/Happy Valley, Roding Valley Park and Forest Farm Community Garden. We’ve also been carrying out a veteran orchard restoration scheme in partnership with a charity, The Orchard Project, over at Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve. It recently featured on the London Live News.
As well as a fantastic community resource, traditionally managed orchards are of great value to wildlife as they often include a mosaic of habitats. The fruit trees themselves are generally short-lived trees compared to other hardwood species. This means that they begin to produce veteran tree features such as hollow trunks, rot holes and split bark relatively quickly – good for insects and other invertebrates as well as bats and nesting birds.
Wild About Gardens Week
Wild About Gardens Week takes place from 24th to 30th October 2016. This year it''s a joint initiative by the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts and The Bat Conservation Trust. They have some lovely resources on the website, including a guide on gardening for bats, which many people who attended our recent bat walks were interested in, so do take a look.
The importance of private gardens for wildlife mustn’t be underestimated, particularly in urban areas where collectively, private gardens account for a large percentage of green space. Small changes like letting your lawn grow a little longer so clovers can flower, adding some dead wood to a quiet corner or leaving out a bucket of water as a makeshift pond, all add value.
Nature Conservation Ranger Team
James Leal Centre, Ray Park, Snakes Lane East IG8 7JQ
Tel: 020 8559 2316