LIFE’S RICH TAPESTRY
The Millennium Green offers an amazing range of habitats – from woodland to meadow, from pond to hedgerow – and is a haven for wildlife as well as people.
One special part of the Millennium Green is the community orchard, containing many different varieties of apples, pears, cherries, damsons, plums and nuts. All of the trees were individually sponsored and are mainly old species that are the origin of many modern varieties. Since the 1950s, around 60% of our traditional orchards have vanished from England’s landscape, making the creation of this orchard even more important.
The orchard has become a hotspot for biodiversity, supporting a wide range of wildlife. Its flavoursome fruit is enjoyed by many and contributes to a healthy diet, as well as saving many ‘food miles’.
The secret to the success of this wonderful orchard is pollination by insects, most importantly the honey bee and the bumblebee. However, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and wasps also help. Pollination is where the insect moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma to accomplish fertilisation – vital in producing many of the seeds, fruits and crops we depend upon.
The two superb wildflower meadows that have been created on the Millennium Green are another amazing habitat and are a magnificent sight in full bloom. Again, insects are important pollinators for the vast array of wildflowers found growing here. The meadows in turn provide an important habitat and food source, as they contain an abundance of nectar and pollen-rich plant species, such as Ox-eye daisy and Cowslip.
“With the development of the Millennium Green and Duddas Wood, and the introduction of the fruit forms in the local vicinity, the foraging potential for my honey bees has increased significantly” .
David Rawsthorne – local beekeeper.
About 80% of British plant species, including many commercial crops essential to our local and national economy, rely on insects, mainly bees, for pollination. Maintaining healthy populations of bees and other insect pollinators is therefore vital for biodiversity and a diverse food supply. Derrington is proud to have a local beekeeper, whose highly acclaimed honey is a good example of what nature can achieve for us – and reminds us that we in turn need to be good stewards of our countryside.
Looking for Tadpoles
Bumblebee on Yellow Rattle
Common Spotted Orchid