New orchard for Wepre Park’s former golf course
A new orchard of apple, soft fruit and walnut trees has been planted at Wepre Park’s former golf course as part of ongoing work for wildlife and people.
Children from Ysgol Ty Ffynnon, Wepre County Primary School, Ysgol Maes Hyfryd primary schools and our Wepre Park Plas Derw “Grubby Club” have helped plant 35 new trees.
The area of traditional orchards in the UK has declined by over 60% in the last 50 years and 35% of orchards in Wales have been found to be in declining condition as a habitat.
Once a common sight in our countryside they have now become rare and are listed as a national priority for conservation.
The decline has been attributed to changing agricultural practices and competition from supermarkets which can provide imported fruit at cheap prices, rendering native orchard produce less economically viable.
The combination of fruit trees and grassland can create an environment that is immensely rich in biodiversity
Orchards have shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 species spanning the plant, animal and fungi kingdoms, the loss of the traditional orchard habitat places those species under threaten.
A single apple tree is known to support over 1000 invertebrate species.
Wepre’s new orchard will be planted near the park’s education area and will be used for education sessions as it matures.
Park visitors and the children who helped plant the orchard will be able to watch the trees grow into a fruiting orchard and enjoy the fruit the trees produce.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“Enhancement of our local green spaces and the maintenance and growth of our traditional orchards are highly valuable to our community. The tree planting done will not only compliment the habitats at Wepre Park, it will also promote the production of our own locally grown food.
Thank you to the schools involved in the planting and Flintshire Council’s Conservation and Countryside teams for making this happen.”
Ste Lewis, a ranger with Flintshire Countryside Service, said:
“This orchard will be a great addition to the habitats already here at Wepre and to have the local schools involved is fantastic, the children and all our visitors here at Wepre will be able to visit the orchard as it grows.”
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