Kingston's Apple Story
This month we launched a 12 page Chap Book 'Kingston's Apple Story'. It has a three-fold intention: to promote the importance of the Tolworth Apple Store; inform of the orchard heritage in the borough; and increase the size and number of local orchards which are an important peri-urban habitat.
Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat and for this reason the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) now includes Traditional Orchards in its list of priority habitats. Threats to old orchards include neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development.
Particularly in urban areas, an orchard managed for biodiversity can be a proxy for ‘a mini wood pasture’, a most important habitat. The grass will be left longer and not mown becoming a haven for reptiles, wildflowers and an assortment of fungi. These sites are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 species.
Pete Brown, the author of 'The Apple Orchard: the story of our most English fruit' gave a talk at the Museum of the Futures last week. We we treated to a free glass of cider (or Sidre-Welsh for Kiss) at the event. This is brewed by four Welshmen from a shed in Surbiton. The 'Thirsty Beasts', usually obtain suplus apples from Surbiton gardens adding a champagne yeast.
If you would like to sign the petition asking the Council to debate the future of the Tolworth Apple Store - and you live, work or study in Kingston upon Thames - you can sign here Tolworth Apple Store petition