Discover how to plant and manage a wildflower meadow in your orchard with Neil Coombs of the Kent WildLife Trust.

  • 18 Jun 2016
  • 10am - 12pm
  • West Malling

Wildflowers and Meadows

The Orchard

Macey’s Meadow Orchard was purchased by the parish council to protect it against development and is now a wildlife haven open to everybody. It consists of an apple orchard (old varieties budded on specially for the parish council), a cherry orchard, a nut plat, a mixed indigenous woodland of oak, ash, wild pear, holly and silver birch, a Jubilee wood and a ‘green space’ for general use. Many of the trees in the woodland were sponsored by local people in memory of a loved one. There are also two pastures where sheep graze. The delighted children love to see the new born lambs when they arrive each year. The whole area is accessible at all times via the kissing gates.

Over 300 metres of new hedge has been planted. Dedicated volunteers are learning many new skills. Among the volunteers are an expert engineer for tractor maintenance, a shepherd, a foreman from East Malling Research Station who oversees the operation, and many more.

The orchard boasts owl and bird boxes and a bee house built by the cubs. Bat walks have taken place with extraordinary results together with dawn chorus, a delightful cacophony of trills and cheeps, returning to a tuneful melody once daylight was fully born.

Macey’s now with its new wildflower meadow flourishing will entice the local community to enjoy the facility on their doorstep and use it to picnic in the summer and for brisk walks in the winter.

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