As I drove over the small bridge at Abridge this morning I glanced down at the river and spotted a Little Egret! nice one.
Anyway the National Trust is reporting that 60% of Orchards have disappeared since the 1950's this means that local varieties of apples, cherries, pears, plums and damsons under threat. Also you try and get any local varieties of fruit from a Supermarket, not a hope its the same brands time and time again.
Pressure from commercial growers has meant that many smaller orchards have been converted to other uses. This is sad as the trees provide habit for species such as the noble chafer beetle and lesser spotted woodpecker. Orchards offer sources of pollen and nectar to bees.
The Trust is launching a £536,000 drive to reverse the decline of the orchards and has teamed up with Natural England to launch the project to promote local fruit varieties.
The scheme was launched at the Trusts Killerton estate in Devon, surveys have found insects including the orchard park beetle and the apple tree lace bag. The orchard was also shown to be a feeding ground for long-eared bats. The Killerton Orchard has two varieties unique to the estate.
If you walk around any Orchard owned by a Heritage organisation or by a landowner interested in Historic Varieties you will see many varieties of fruit that will never make it into a supermarket or green grocer. This is rather sad because traditional varieties normally have much more flavour than the bog standard varieties that supermarkets stock. Of course they won't look so pretty!