Restoration of traditional orchard habitats

Trent Vale farmer grants funded work to restore a heritage orchard near Darlton in Nottinghamshire as well as training local people in traditional pruning skills.

Identification of apples and pears at the farm near Tuxford may reveal some traditional local varietiesLocal volunteers learning skills in traditional fruit tree pruning

Traditional fruit orchards are vanishing from Britain's landscape with serious consequences for wildlife. They are also a Priority Habitat in Nottinghamshire and so the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership is keen to preserve them.

Trent Vale's farmers grants contributed £2,000 towards the restoration of a traditional orchard on a private farm just outside Tuxford. It is the site of a mixed fruit orchard, with apple, pear, plum and cherry trees thought to date back to the early 1900s. Professional fruit tree pruner Marc Richmond tackled the damaged, diseased and ageing trees to bring them back into health. The project also provided training for 20 members of the community, some of whom manage community orchards in the Trent Vale. Volunteers learnt how to restore old fruit trees and formatively prune new ones. The project has paid for a longterm management plan for the orchard as well as identification of some of the varieties by the National Apple Collection in Kent at the end of the summer 2011.