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£115,000 project to create new orchards and hedgerows in Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas under way





A £115,000 project to create six new orchards and two miles of hedgerow is under way in East Suffolk.

The large-scale programme will create wildlife habitats covering 10 farms over an area of 5,300 hectares on the Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas.

The project will improve biodiversity, soil quality, flood risk and climate change resilience.

New orchards and hedgerows are to be planted in the Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas as part of a £115,000 project. Picture: National Landscape
New orchards and hedgerows are to be planted in the Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas as part of a £115,000 project. Picture: National Landscape

The East Suffolk Farmer Group (ESFG) was awarded the sum the Suffolk and Essex Coast and Heaths National Landscape through the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, funded by Defra.

The new orchards will follow on from the 16 already planted through the same programme, with funding also covering the installation of deer fencing to protect the young trees.

Grass between trees in the orchards will only be cut annually to foster natural regeneration of wildflower and support species.

The projects in the Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas will help boost biodiversity and climate change resilience. Picture: National Landscape
The projects in the Shotley, Felixstowe and Orford peninsulas will help boost biodiversity and climate change resilience. Picture: National Landscape

ESFG members are working collaboratively to establish nearly 4,000 metres of new hedgerows, which are planted with a range of native trees, to strengthen wildlife corridors while linking habitats and connecting farms to support wildlife on a landscape scale.

The new hedge will stretch inland from the River Orwell to connect with a wood and hedgerows along the way.

The orchards and hedgerows will aid climate change goals by capturing carbon, while reducing rainfall runoff will improve soil quality.