Can you help us find out more about Bedfordshire's traditional orchards? Traditional orchards are a....
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Traditional Orchards survey

Posted on January 6, 2011

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCan you help us find out more about Bedfordshire's traditional orchards?

Traditional orchards are a much loved part of our British heritage and countryside. Once they were a common sight, however, over the last 50 years they have declined by almost 60% due to neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development.

The orchards that remain are home to a host of local varieties of fruit and are also havens for wildlife - bees and other insects pollinating the flowers in spring, lichens flourishing on the bark and birds and insects finding shelter in the decaying wood of old trees.

The People's Trust for Endangered Species is carrying out a nationwide project to compile an inventory of the traditional orchards that still exist. Roughly 240 probable traditional orchards have been identified from aerial photos of Bedfordshire and PTES is now hoping that local volunteers and orchard owners will help them verify these findings by a conducting a simple field survey.

The Bedfordshire & Luton Orchard Group is helping to co-ordinate the survey so if you would like to get involved, please contact Sue Raven on [email protected]

Please help us find out what is left of Bedfordshire's traditional orchards before it's too late!

Many thanks,
Stephen Halton
Senior Project Officer
(Ecology & Community)
Countryside Access Team
Central Bedfordshire Council
Technology House
Ampthill Road
MK42 9QQ

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