Copse design is sustainable hit

A scheme that combines sustainable planting with traditional countryside design has been created in East Sussex.

A small native copse planted with hazel and ash trees has been created as a noise barrier for a busy nearby road, as well as providing material for local crafts.

The design, which was formulated by east Surrey garden designer Mike Gerrard for a private client, also includes a traditional orchard that contains apple, pear and quince trees.

"The intention is to recreate the scene, varieties and habitat of orchard cultivation from an era before dwarfing rootstocks were developed for commercial production," explained Gerrard.

Local beekeepers are to be contacted with a view to keeping hives on the site and Gerrard has planted 150 English lavender and 185 cynaras in an effort to sustain the bees with a broader spectrum of nectar plants.

Crab apples have also been planted to help with pollination.

"Bees and other insects play an important part in an orchard's life-cycle," added Gerrard.

A new 150m boundary hedge has been planted using traditional hawthorn plus dogwood, hazel, spindle, dog rose and field maple. Standards of oak also feature in the native copse.

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