Supported by a Chalk, Cherries and Chairs grant, funded by the National Lottery, the Lindengate heritage orchard with wild flower strips, edible hedge, willow hedge and wildlife pond. In the original design our aim was to create a swale. Due to funding constraints, the swale was not completed. The orchard at Lindengate is heavy clay. Sloping fields surround the orchard. Rain runs off the field onto our site. Although we have planted a willow hedge and have planted small trees to help manage the water, the swale will give us a greater ability to manage the excess water. In the summer season, rather than losing the water, the swale can be used to capture the water. The swale’s location running along the orchard to the pond will enable us to create an all year rich habitat for aquatic invertebrates, wetland plants, amphibians, attracting mammals and birds. We want the swale to help increase the biodiversity of the site. The swale will also help stabilize the sediment which can increase water clarity.
The key project themes we are addressing are:
1. Managing flow – the swale will help us manage the water at the top of the site – prevent flooding and capture the rain water during the dry seasons creating a wildlife aquatic habitat.
2. Water Quality – our aim is to plant aquatic plants to hold nutrients that could otherwise be used by algae. The plants soak up any pollutants and will make the swale attractive to wildlife.
3. Wildlife Corridor – the addition of the swale planted with aquatic plants and wildflower banks will create a wildlife corridor on site. Attracting pollinators, insects and birds enables our adjacent heritage orchard to thrive. At Lindengate we believe if you nurture nature it will nurture us. The swale will link up with the wildlife corridors we have throughout the site which continues to our conservation area at the bottom of the site.