THE NATIONAL TRUST has published a report that reveals that orchards in England and Wales have halved since the early 1900s. The research by the Trust depicts how these huge losses have adversely affected habitats for nature.
The report indicates that there has been a “historic loss of blossom across landscapes” with an associated impact on nature and wildlife. It reveals a loss in orchards of 56 per cent, with just 43,017Ha left growing today – equivalent to an area slightly larger than the Isle of Wight. The research also exposed a huge 81 per cent decline, (78,874Ha), in traditional orchards in England and Wales – equivalent to an area close to the size of the west Midlands – spelling bad news for nature. There has been a 77 per cent regional decline in orchards in Yorkshire and Humber area.
To a certain extent, the South West Holderness area has bucked the trend with the launch of the charity Holderness Community Orchards in 2019 and the tree planting and other activity that has been initiated and encouraged by the group. The charity is working with local communities to plant fruit trees and the group had a team of tree-planters out last Saturday (19 March 2022) planting new trees in the areas’ historic Hedon Haven.
Another side-effect of this on the human population means that fewer people can enjoy one of nature’s great spectacles – spring blossom!
#BlossomWatch is the National Trust’s new campaign, now in its second year, to encourage people to enjoy and celebrate spring blossom. #BlossomWatch encourages the digital sharing of images as blossom sweeps up the land from south to north. The Trust says it has an aim of embedding an annual cultural event similar to Japan’s ‘hanami’ in the UK.
#BlossomWatch Day Saturday 23 April 2022.
#BlossomWatch Day is on Saturday, 23 April 2022, when the National Trust be asking you to share your pictures of beautiful blossom on social media. At the link at the beginning of this paragraph, you can download an activity pack that includes a Blossom Spotter sheet to help you identify the blossom you have found. There is information on why blossom matters and guidance on the benefits that can be gleaned from creative activities such as drawing and photographing blossom.
We are going to mark #BlossomWatch Day on Hedon Blog with a special feature and invite our readers to get involved too by sending in their drawings, photos, poetry, creative writing and other artistic contributions for the day. Blossom is already appearing on our trees as the photos on this page (all taken this week) show.
Send your work to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the email subject #BlossomWatch