Perry Orchard at Davies Meadow
Traditional perry pear orchards are thin on the ground these days, so it was a privilege for Orchard Origins to be invited to help with the winter pruning at Davies Meadow. This ancient pear orchard, which had fallen into neglect, forms part of a 20 acre reserve managed by the Herefordshire Nature Trust. For the last few years, the Trust has been replanting it with traditional perry pear varieties and a few dessert pears.
Swept up in the slipstream of the cider boom, Perry, the fermented beverage produced from perry pears, has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance recently. So, could perry orchards become a more familiar sight in the future?
In the New Year, Orchard Origins and the Herefordshire Nature Trust are running a series of workshops on orchard maintenance and hedge-laying that promote wildlife-friendly practices.
There has been a huge decline in traditional orchards and hedgerows in the UK since the 1950s. When sensitively managed for fruit production and wildlife orchards support a huge diversity of insects, mammals, birds and plants. Hedges provide natural corridors and nesting sites for a host of different species. Understanding and practising traditional management techniques will help conserve these fragile habitats. Continue reading