Recently, the National Trust reported that 80% of small orchards have been lost in the past century... that is a huge swathe of carbon-locking food-providing trees gone! Of course, traditional orchards do not just give us good, local fruit. Each native tree in each orchard is vitally important for our flora and fauna. At this time of year native fruit trees are literally buzzing with life, with their fragrant blossoms delivering a rich source of food for bees and many other pollinators.
When we opened For Earth’s Sake in Cranleigh on 5 April 2019, Jenny Seagrove and Vanessa Ford-Robbins planted a dwarfing variety of apple tree which resides outside of the shop - above is a blossom that was blooming last week, a blossom that gives hope of what is to come.
Today is Earth Day which since 1970 has been an annual day to show support for environmental activism and protection. As part of Earth Day 2022, we are highlighting the work we are doing locally in planting a new orchard - the For Earth’s Sake Heritage Orchard in nearby Shamley Green. Currently, we are planning on around 30 apple, pear, plum and other fruit trees. All are heritage varieties and will assist in delivering on our aims and ambitions. In mid-March we planted the first 19 trees, with others to be in place early next year.
So far the apples we have growing are varieties Annie Elizabeth, Bramleys Seedling, Discovery, Egremont Russet, Lord Derby, Lord Lambourne, Orleans Reinette, Peasgood Nonsuch, Red Falstaff, Red Windsor, Ribston Pippin, St Edmunds Russet, Sunset, Tom Putt and Worcester Pearmain; Pear varieties Conference and Williams Bonne Chretien; Plum variety Victoria; and Gage variety Cambridge.
If you would like to be part of the future of our For Earth's Sake Heritage Orchard, as a volunteer, tree sponsor, project sponsor or would simply like more information, please leave your details at the shop or drop an email to info @ forearthssake . co . uk.
What is Earth Day? Since 1970, every April 22 has been marked as Earth Day, an annual day to show support for environmental activism and protection. Although it's not a national holiday, many celebrate the day and share ways to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. At For Earth's Sake we think it is good to celebrate Earth Day every day!"
To read more of the National Trust's research into the loss of orchard's across England and Wales click here - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/press-release/national-trust-vows-to-bring-back-the-blossom-as-new-research-reveals-massive-drop-in-orchards-since-1900s