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Creating a space for nature at Ormesby Hall

A red admiral butterfly resting on a wild flower at Killerton, Devon
A red admiral butterfly on a wild flower at Killerton | © National Trust Images/Fi Hailstone

We are creating more spaces for wildlife to thrive and give visitors more opportunities to connect and explore nature at Ormesby. The project will take an unused piece of land and transform it into a wildlife haven to support nature and help pollinators thrive in a place of beauty.

Helping nature thrive

We have created more spaces for wildlife to thrive and give visitors more opportuntities to connect and explore nature. So work is almost complete to take the previously unused piece of land and transform it into a wildlife haven to support nature and help pollinators thrive in a place of beauty.

As a conservation charity, we're aware of the national decline in natural habitats and our approach to land use reflects our aim to restore healthy, beautiful enviroments that help nature. Our vision is for nature, beauty and history for everyone. Our simple ambition with this project was to create a green oasis and nature-rich haven in the heart of urban Middlesbrough.

The project vision

To create a wildlife haven for birds, butterflies and bees to feast and call home. The fruit trees will also make the land purposeful and grow fruit as the family once did in their walled garden. (which was located on nearby Ormesby bank and is now houses).

The wildflower meadow and orchard will have benches for visitors to relax in a space of beauty and watch nature up close at work.

An early bumblebee feeding on a purple plant
A bumblebee feeding | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott

The project so far

Planting hedgerows

Some mixed native hedgerows such as hawthorn and blackthorn were planted to encircle the orchard. In Spring time they provide nesting for birds and blossoms for pollinators. Then in autumn and winter their berries provide essential nourishment for birds.

The perennial wildflower seed mix and meadow grass mix was sown in June 2021 and willl create a splash of colour this summer.

Planting the orchard

In autumn 2021 the orchard was planted with apple and pear trees as well as plums, damsons and gages. This includes apple tree varieties such as the Yorkshire Beauty, Hunthouse, Ribston Pippin and Acklam Russet. (Hunthouse was grown in the Whitby area and reputedly taken to sea by Captain Cook as a source of vitamins to prevent scurvy.) These are accompanied by a collection of crab trees.

The pond and meadow

Also in autumn 2021 the pond liner was installed. In summer 2022 the pond dipping jetty will be built, ready for the water and bog plants to be placed.

The reintroduction of the pond will create a mixed habitat for wildlife, including a shallow bog garden where marsh and bog living plants will thrive. Deeper areas will support aquatic insects, such as dragonflies, pond skaters, frogs, toads and newts. The pond will have a jetty where pond dipping can take place.

A timeline of work

22 April 2022

Blossom watch

Since the early spring planting of the fruit trees, it was great to see the first signs of blossom in their first season, with lots more to come in future years.

Thank you

With your ongoing support we’re able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places

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