by Benedict Macdonald and Nicolas Gates
20 Aug 2020
Spend a year in an orchard, celebrating its imperilled, overlooked abundance of life. England's ancient orchards, collaborations between people and nature, are sources of hope for the future. Protecting them promises a far richer England for the centuries to come, for wildlife and for us.
As the seasons turn, a wealth of animals and plants are revealed: Bumble and solitary bees apartment-hunting in April; spotted flycatchers migrating in May; redstarts, hedgehogs and owls nesting in June; an explosion of life in the summer and the harvest and homespun cider-making in the autumn. And all throughout the year, the orchard's human and animal inhabitants work together, creating one of the richest ecosystems left in Britain. Explore this unique habitat throughout the course of a year, and marvel at the beauty and strength of nature.