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Environmental Sustainability

  • Attract Bees to your Garden with Ornamental trees

    Whether you like them or not, bees are of critical importance to our environment: they are pollinators for fruit and vegetable crops, and they are producers of honey and other medicinal foods.

    Unfortunately, with the global bee population in decline due to habitat and disease problems, the pollination of fruit trees and cultivation of fruit and vegetables is in jeopardy. Yet garden owners can do something small to counter this, by planting a number of ornamental/fruit trees in their back garden to attract bees, helping them on their way to provide vital food sources and to keep our fruit-bearing trees pollinated.

    Firstly, you may want to be aware that certain flowers are more accommodating to bees than others. Single flowers tend to be your best bet, as they are larger, and therefore more accessible for insects to find the nectar and pollen. In contrast, many double flowered plants do not produce nectar at all.

    It also may be worth maintaining a varied seasonal plan, in which your flowering season stretches from early spring to the very last days of summer. If you plant too early, there is a large chance the pollen will be all used up in a short space of time. Aiming for what we might call ‘staggered interest’, with a variety of perennial plants, will see the flowering season extend from early spring right up until the end of summer, giving the bees a great deal of support over the longest period of time.

    In terms of suitable species for attracting bees to your garden, English Woodlands has a number of suggestions:

    • Spring – ornamental crab apples and pears, such as Malus and Pyrus species
    • Early flowering Cherries such as Prunus cerasifera Nigra
    • Hawthorns such as Crataegus prunifolia and Crataegus Monogyna

    As for summer flowering trees, Tilia lime trees are certainly attractive to bees (although some species are more so than others, for instance, some have a soporific, almost narcotic effect).

    In late spring and early summer, shrubs such as Elder and Cotoneaster cornubia are valuable sources of nectar, while climbers such as Honeysuckle will all variety before the autumn.

    Finally, as late summer gives way to autumn, Arbutus unedo, a strawberry tree, has both flowers used as a pollen source for bees and fruits for birds, while the shrub Elaeagnus ebbingei has small white fragrant flowers, making it a bee-friendly option as a hedge plant.

    arbutus enedo

    For any more tips on which trees are best for attracting bees to your garden, or for any general inquiries, please get in touch with us. The knowledgeable English Woodlands team are available Monday-Friday on 01435 862992, or you can leave an inquiry on our contact page and our team will gladly get back to you.

  • What is Environmental Sustainability?

    If you have found yourself in this particular part of our blog, then we have no doubt that you are interested in finding out more about Environmental Sustainability. If that’s the case, then all you have to do is read on, to learn a little about what is meant by Environmental Sustainability, and how it is helping the planet – on a small scale, and worldwide.

    As you can probably tell from its own title, environmental sustainability is about two things; the environment, and sustaining it. How exactly this is done, depends on what is done beforehand for there to be a need to sustain the environment. If a tree is cut down, planting one – or several – in its place, is part of sustaining the environment.

    Environmental sustainability includes taking the conscious decision to take action that will protect the natural world. This emphasises particularly on preserving the capability of the environment, in order to support human – and animal – life. In short, environmental sustainability is about humans taking care of the planet in order to make reparations for any damage we may have caused.

    For some, environmental sustainability is a small thing – throwing away rubbish that will not decompose, instead of throwing it in a field or on the ground, is a way to protect and preserve just a small piece of land. However, if everybody did this, then the piece of land saved would grow larger, and larger, until the majority of the earth was being treated respectfully.

    However, there are companies and other organisations that must make their sustainability actions even grander and more reliable. A furniture, or paper company, for example, will cut down thousands of trees. Planting new trees in their place, potentially twice the amount of them as well, is a way to sustain the tree life. It is big businesses whom are most concerned with environmental sustainability, as it will also sustain their business alongside it.

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