AN interesting aspect of local farm heritage in past years was to plant a few orchard trees such as apples, pears, plums and damsons to provide fruit for the family and produce for local markets.
This tradition has also made a great contribution to nature conservation by providing roosting havens and a rich food source for birds and mammals, while the blossom remains a splendid source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects.
The value of these orchards in the rural landscape has been recognised by DAERA’s agri-environment schemes over the past decade or more. As a result many farmers have renovated their small orchard sites and replanted fruit trees on the farm.
If you have fruit trees on your farm that need some pruning attention, or you would like to learn more about the establishment and management of traditional orchards, a free training event will take place on Friday, March 1, at 11am-2pm at Raymond and David Hyland’s Farm, 80 Carlaragh Road, Limavady. At this event informative presentations and practical demonstrations will be given on orchard health, establishment, nutrition, the pruning and shaping of fruit trees, ecology in the orchard and pollination matters.