Orchard Project

Traditional orchards are priority habitats under the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan, with over 80% of the UK’s traditional orchard habitat having been lost since 1900. 

They are unique and important habitats, providing shelter and food for a range of wildlife.

Because the trees in a traditional orchard are planted further apart than in woodland, more sunlight gets through to the floor. This helps wildflowers to grow and warms up the muscles of flying insects. Blossom in spring provides nectar for bees, butterflies and moths, while wildflowers on the orchard floor supply them with nectar throughout the summer.

Bats including Pipistrelle and Greater Horseshoe feed on the insects at night and roost in the cracks and hollows the old fruit trees. There are also 400 species of specialist wood decay invertebrates in the dead or rotting branches commonly found in orchards.

Deer Park Archers are helping to reverse this decline by planting 22 traditional orchard trees in the north east corner of our site located in part of our flowering meadow project.

The trees of traditional Gloucestershire varieties were planted in the winner of 2023 with the assistance of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.