Large scale management of scrub and encroaching vegetation within an existing orchard, Gloucester
To increase accessibility to the orchard, increase the overall biodiversity of the area and keep the orchard in on-going good condition.
Following the careful management of scrub and grassland the Orchard is now in a manageable condition, the area is improved for wildlife and nearby residents.
G loucester City Council during the past years had been undertaking vegetation management within a small orchard next to Sims Rd, Gloucester. During the past two or three years workload and budget restraints have meant the works have not been completed to the same extent, although paths and footways within the orchard are still very well cared for. Encroaching vegetation is starting to choke out the grassland and in some cases affecting the fruit trees themselves. There are high dense brambles, blackthorn around the perimeter of the site and dense rank grass on the more open areas.
By implementing sensitive scrub and grass management we hope to bring the orchard back to its present good condition. Grassland will be flailed back to promote new growth and encourage plants and wildflower growth and encroaching scrub will be gradually cut back and then managed to prevent it overtaking the site but still provide valuable nesting and feeding ground for small birds.
All of the grass and scrub management will be undertaken on a rotational basis and the first round of management will see some areas being left as wildlife refuges and areas of undisturbed habitat. We are hoping to negotiate that this into an annual contract.