Award-winning orchard owner to teach growers about pruning and planting

West Bradley Orchards near Glastonbury is holding a series of day-long pruning and planting workshops for growers every Thursday from January to March.

The site is the home of The Orchard Pig, which produces award-winning apple juices and ciders, and its sister management company, Orchard Ground Force.

The workshops will be run by orchard and fruit production manager Neil Macdonald. He said: "People are often very surprised when I tell them that you can prune out up to 25 per cent of fruiting wood on an annual basis.

"If you think about the root system of the tree as the power supply, you want that energy to go where it is most useful - into making new growth and healthy fruit, not into maintaining old wood."

He added that a well-managed orchard not only produced better fruit, but also encouraged biodiversity by as much as ten times the amount of a field.

"The biodiversity of a neglected orchard is much less than that of a managed orchard. The idea that conservation is a case of 'leave it to go wild' is just not true. We've been grooming our countryside for generations and we need to continue to do that for the best balance of our wildlife."

- For further details and times, call West Bradley Orchards on 01458 851222.

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