Maintaining and encouraging the wildlife in our orchards is really important, as it helps with the pollination of the blossom in the spring and then a healthy bug population can also help to eat the pests that can significantly damage the trees and the fruit throughout the growing period.
Pear sucker can be a major pest in orchards and the nymphs appear in the spring on developing leaves and blossom and during the summer they move to the leaves. We encourage a healthy bug population such as Earwigs, which will eat the nymphs before they can cause any much damage. We provide cover at the bottom of the trees and at night the Earwigs will crawl up the trees and munch away on the pests.
We are also encouraging more pollinating bees and insects by planting other types of plants in the orchards. At Gore Farm for example we are testing planting Heather plants which are excellent for this purpose and if it is successful there is likely to be further companion planting taking place throughout the orchards.