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Another Level 2 exam question commentary
by Janet Prescott - Monday, 27 July 2020, 12:12 PM

This one is from unit 2113 in Garden Planning:


a)      Describe THREE benefits of providing shelter for trees in an apple orchard. [ 6 marks]

b)     Name TWO distinct plants suitable for use as a living windbreak in a fruit garden. [2 marks]

c)      Name TWO types of non-living permeable windbreaks suitable for use in a vegetable garden.[ 2 marks]

This question refers to the following part of the syllabus:

Outcome 1

 Know the importance of site selection for outdoor food production in a garden or allotment.

1.2 Describe the reasons for providing shelter for an outdoor food production area including, the effects of wind reduction, frost potential and influences upon pollination. Indicate how the effects of providing shelter influence the growth of fruit and vegetable crops.

1.3 State the benefits and limitations of living and nonliving windbreaks. To include: the characteristics of effective living windbreaks: can filter winds effectively but take up space, encourage beneficial organisms but can also harbour pests and diseases, require time to establish and need to be maintained; non-living windbreaks: take less space but require more frequent replacement.

1.4 Name FOUR plant species suitable for a living windbreak. Examples could include: any deciduous or evergreen species suitable for informal or formal use. Fagus sylvatica, Carpinus betulus, Pinus nigra, x Cuprocyparis leylandii, Crataegus monogyna.

1.5 Name FOUR types of non-living permeable windbreak. To include: plastic mesh, webbing, fencing, trellis or hurdles.

Outcome 4

4. Understand the production of top and soft fruit for a garden or allotment.

4.10 State four methods of ensuring effective pollination in fruit production. To include: cultivar selection; planting extra pollinators such as crab apple; shelter belts and hedges to encourage pollinators and provide windbreaks.


Part a) has 6 marks allocated for 3 benefits, so a good description is needed for each benefit. The examiners’ comments state that acceptable answers included:

·        Reduced wind speed resulting in less physical damage to trees i.e. broken branches, fallen fruit and wind scorch

·        Improved pollination as bees do not fly in windy conditions

·        Reduced wind speed reduces excess transpiration and water loss

·        Provides warmer temperatures for ripening fruit

·        Reduced wind speed may reduce damage from wind frost

·        Encourages beneficial wildlife

Part b) requires two plant examples for a windbreak. Make sure you always use full botanical names for any plant examples. The syllabus provides five suitable examples in 1.4. You can use other suitable examples if you prefer.

1.5 provides five examples of non-living permeable windbreaks for part c). The examiners’ comments suggest  ’Paraweb, hurdles, hit and miss fencing, trellis, open brickwork’. Only include the number required, i.e. two in this case. Any answers over the number asked for aren’t marked.