BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Go to the Listen Again page
Monday 21:00-21:30
Nature offers a window on global natural history, providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit it.

If you like natural history and you're interested in the environment, why not visit Radio 4's first ever interactive blog here.

You can read, watch and listen to natural history on the radio.

And being a blog, you can of course contribute to it...
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
 Listen to 30 April
Brett Westwood
Monday 30 April 2007
Brett and Harry planting a tree
Harry Green and Brett Westwood planting the new orchard at Tiddesley Wood Nature Reserve

The Plum Prospects for Orchard Conservation

Traditional orchards have suffered from a rapid and substantial decline over the last 50 years. It has been estimated that almost 60% of traditional orchards have been lost in that time in this country.

Traditional orchards differ from densely planted commercial orchards as they contain older, taller fruit trees, the grass pasture around them is usually grazed by cattle or sheep, the trees are more widely spaced and the orchards are not treated with chemicals or pesticides.
The loss of old orchards has been due to a demand for cheaper fruit imports and the land being used for housing development.

Traditional orchards with their ageing trees are very important for wildlife. Many insects need the decaying wood of the older, listing and fallen trees. One such insect is the Noble Chafer beetle, the larvae of which live in holes in trees feeding on the rotten wood. It has become an iconic, flagship species for traditional orchards and the surveys for its presence has led to more knowledge than ever before about all the different animals and plants that depend on orchards, some of which like the Noble Chafer are very rare.

The review of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan has allowed conservationists to put a case for traditional orchards to be given a listing as a priority habitat. While it does not give total protection, it will mean more funds, advice, and encouragement will be given to landowners to keep their old orchards and plant the much needed new, traditional orchards of the future.
Listen Live
Audio Help
Leading Edge
The Only Great Ape In Asia
Goshawk Down
Extinction of Experience
Sounds of Britain - The Wrekin forest
Sounds of Britain - An urban Dawn Chorus
Sounds of Britain - Islay
Sounds of Britain - Wicken Fen
A Country fit for Cranes
The answer lies in the soil
Spring Questions
Songbird Special
Spring Blog
The Beetles - Here, There and Everywhere
Unearthing Buried Rivers
100 years of British Birds
The Plum Prospects for Orchard Conservation
Caledonian Pine
Winter Starlings
100 Years of The Guardian Country Diary
Coastal Squeeze
The Kite's Tale
Diary From A Strange Country
India's Blue Hills
Ups And Downs
The Urchin In Trouble
Why Garden For Wildlife?
The Sounds of Galapagos
What a Scorcher
In Search of the Emperor
One Hundred New Naturalists
The Rarity Factor
Phoenix Trees
Babbling Meerkats
In Search of Classic
The Lark Ascending
The Engabreen Glacier
Arabian Leopards
An Uphill Struggle
Frogs and Toads
Wild Escapees
Planet Earth Special
The Animal Image
Badgers: To cull or not to cull?
Artic Wolves
The Robin
Autumn Review
Bird Flu Special
Yellowstone Wolves
Trees of Trafalgar
Deep Sea, New Horizons
What's In A Name?
A Blight On The Landscape
New forest; ancient landscape
Great Ape Conservation
Ivory Bill in the Big Woods 
The Soft Estate
A Raw Deal for Reptiles
The Future of Spring
Restoring Spring
The History of Spring
Birds of Paradise
Peregrines In The City
Dancing Bears
Ocean Wanderers
Animal Instinct
The Life of Ferns
Midwinter Wonders
Avocet World
Amazon Adventure
The Clock of Life
Lechuguilla Cave

Back to Latest Programme
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy