MAFF saving old orchards

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



(2000), "MAFF saving old orchards", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 30 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

MAFF saving old orchards

MAFF saving old orchards

Traditional old orchards are being saved and restored across the country as part of a Ministry of Agriculture environmental scheme. More than 1,000 hectares of old orchards are now being restored and protected to preserve the UK's wealth of old apple varieties. Old orchards also support a wide range of insects, lichens, wildflowers and birds which face the continued threat of being grubbed up because of economic pressures on farmers. Under the MAFF Countryside Stewardship Scheme owners are being paid to manage their orchards to maximise environmental benefits and to restore them to their former glory. Orchard owners are paid up to ยป250 per hectare per year for managing and restoring old orchards. Payments are made to restore orchard trees by pruning, grafting and re-stocking with appropriate varieties. Owners are being recommended to keep old trees which provide nest holes for birds such as owls and woodpeckers. Old orchards normally contain less than 150 trees per hectare and can be apple, pear, cherry, plum, damson, cider and perry, or cob nut trees. There are 8,600 agreements already in the Stewardship and a further 1,200 agreements are expected to be signed up. The Scheme is part-funded by the EU.

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