Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat and for this reason the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) now includes Traditional Orchards in its list of priority habitats. Threats to old orchards include neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development. Particularly in urban areas, an orchard managed for biodiversity can be a proxy for ‘a mini wood pasture’, a most important habitat.
The grass will be left longer and not mown becoming a haven for reptiles, wildflowers and an assortment of fungi. A rare lichen- golden eye lichen -which was believed to be extinct in the UK was recently rediscovered in a Herefordshire orchard. These sites are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 species.
I can provide a programme of walks and talks on a range of topics with a range of partners. Talks are uaually available in the winter months outside of the normal survey season. These include:
- Bat Ecology and Bats and Lighting
- Bat Walks
- Longworth Trapping
- River Corridor Surveys