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Orchard planting at Wepre Park

Published: 25/01/2019

This winter 35 fruit trees will be planted on Wepre Park’s former golf course.

This is part of ongoing work at Wepre for wildlife and people.  The fruit trees include apple, soft fruit and walnut trees. Ysgol Ty Ffynnon, Wepre County Primary School, Ysgol Maes Hyfryd primary schools and our Wepre Park Plas Derw “Grubby Club” will be helping plant the trees.

The area of traditional orchards in the UK has declined by over 60% in the last 50 years. Once a common sight in our countryside they have now become rare and are listed as a national priority for conservation.

With the loss of the traditional orchard habitat, we also face the potential loss of the 1800 species associated with orchards, rare fruit varieties, knowledge, ancient traditions and prominent landscape features. The decline has been attributed to changing agricultural practices and competition from supermarkets which can provide imported fruit at cheap prices, rendering our native orchard produce not economically viable.

An orchard can provide a refuge for wildlife in our landscape dominated by development and intensive agriculture. One apple tree alone is known to support over 1000 invertebrate species. The combination of fruit trees and grassland can create an environment that is immensely rich in biodiversity.

The orchard will be planted near our education area and will be used for education sessions as it matures. Our 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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