It is really important to provide the right habitat to encourage ‘beneficial bugs’ in our orchards.
Did you know there are some 40,000 species of invertebrates here in the UK which help to provide pollination, help improve soil health by putting nutrients back in and who are also good predators reducing pests that can damage fruit trees and the fruit?
There are also 4,000 species of pollinating insects in the UK – from hoverflies, bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies and moths. They tend to visit different types of plants at different times of the year, so it is important that we get our orchard habitat right to encourage as many as possible to make it their home.
In amongst our rows of fruit trees for example we plant a different variety – a pollinator, to help encourage the pollinating insects at the right time. We are also looking at the ways we can use our hedges, ditches, grassy areas and field edges to help create the many different types of habitat which all of these good bugs need to survive.
So next time you see a patch of nettles in one of our orchards, or a tree that has fallen down but been left in place, this will be helping to provide important habitat and to help encourage bugs, birds and mammals to make themselves at home.