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Charity seeks to safeguard future of orchards

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The Gloucestershire Orchard Trust has secured funding to help plant fruit trees across Gloucestershire, with more than 400 trees being planted over the next three months. 

Rural landowners can apply for the free trees which have been provided by Gloucestershire County Council. The funding will supply fruit trees, including local varieties, and the required livestock guards.  It is hoped more than 20 orchards across the county will receive trees from the project. 

“Orchards remain under great threat in Gloucestershire. They continue to decline due to the lack of maintenance, excessive mistletoe and lack of succession planting,” said David Lindgren, Chair of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.

“We hope that this will add to the work that the Trust already does helping to reverse the decline”.

Much of the hard work applying of the various grants was undertaken by orchardist and member of the Trust, Martin Hayes.  Martin has travelled around Europe thanks to his work with orchards.  His most recent visit was to Hungary to share his knowledge and research how orchards are managed in central Europe. 

Martin added: “The biodiversity value of traditional orchards like we see in Gloucestershire is huge.  These trees will help make sure there are healthy orchard habitats in 50 years’ time across the county.”

For more information about the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust visit www.glosorchards.org

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