One species' rotten apple is another's free dinner: orchards can make a valuable contribution to local biodiversity.

Promoting biodiversity

The impacts of human activity on our amazing planet have never been more evident and far-reaching. Biodiversity is the huge range of life-forms that make up life on this planet and sadly we are losing it at an alarming rate. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that we could be losing anywhere up to 10,000 species per year.

We take much of our biodiversity for granted and many of us seldom stop to think about just how vital it is to human survival. The many intimate interconnections that make up this multitude of life provide us with the things we need to survive; food, shelter, materials, medicine, not to mention the oxygen we breathe! So it really is in our interest to get active and find ways to reverse this loss.

Apple, pear, plum and cherry orchards provide a habitat for around 1,800 different species; a diverse range of bird, insect, lichen, mammal and fungi species. We have seen the rapid loss of this important habitat with around 90% of our orchards disappearing since the 1950s.

By establishing new traditional orchards and, where possible protecting and conserving those existing trees, we are increasing the number of endangered fruit varieties and the diversity of habitats for important species.

Click here to find out how you can get involved.

Did you know? Apples are a member of the rose family.


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