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Pole-axed at Henley

posted in: Henley, orchard, volunteers | 0
This is the last ever picture of one of two redundant electricity poles still standing on our perry orchard at Henley Bank, kindly left by an electricity supply company for us to deal with. Thanks to the efforts of Rich Priday of F A Priday & Son, agricultural contractors, both poles have now been felled, despite the orchard being somewhat soggy underfoot. Neatly and efficiently done.
We have recycled some sections of the poles; they will become gate posts in another old, traditional orchard near Slad, for which the Trust will be paid the princely sum of £30, more funds to support our efforts to conserve and celebrate orchards in Gloucestershire. Every Little Helps. We’ll also recoup more funds by recycling the copper wire that was attached to the poles.
The little concrete box that used to house some electrical paraphernalia is next in line for demolition… a few blows with a sledgehammer wielded by our Treasurer, Andy Ellis, will see to that. It’s all part of an ongoing process to restore the orchard to its former glory.
Most importantly, before the end of March, four new perry trees will be planted in the orchard, the first perry trees to be planted there for well over a century. The ONLY way to ensure an orchard, any orchard, still exists in the future is to plant new trees. That’s what we’re doing. Please join us; there is a lot to do in a lot of orchards!

Wassail at Days Cottage

Some pictures from Helen and Dave at Days Cottage, taken at their recent Wassail:

– thanking the orchard for the harvest

– welcoming back the sun

– encouraging our good orchard spirits and reminding the trees to wake up after winter

– generally having a good song and dance around the orchard

– Simon our butler/Green Man and masked wassailers enjoying a bonfire afterwards. Continued

Apple and pear trees for sale

Tom Adams from Tom Adams Fruit Tree Nursery has contacted GOT to say he still has a wide range of bare root apple and pear trees for sale this season. Tom says:

I run an organic fruit tree nursery in Shropshire and specialise in apple and pear varieties from the borderlands.

I work closely with the Marcher Apple Network and a few year ago Jim Chapman from the National Perry Pear Collection allowed me access to his collection and I now have a wide range of Perry pear trees for sale.

We are nearing the end of the bare root season and I still have quite a few trees left for sale.

If you know of any projects and and individuals that may be interested in such trees please do pass on my details.

Tom’s current stock list is available on this pdf. https://glosorchards.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/tomtheapplemanpearlist.pdf

http://www.tomtheappleman.co.uk   07776 498936

Pruning a variety, but which one? (Juliet’s Orchard Blog January 2024 #2)

Shepperdine Silt

Come the first agreeable afternoon this month I intend to start pruning the apple trees. Pruning is not difficult and whatever you do you are not likely to kill the tree, but good pruning results in higher production and better quality fruit. The mantra is start with dead, damaged, diseased, and crossing but I would prefix that with “why am I going to the effort of pruning it at all”. In my experimental orchard of about 100 varieties I’ve had them long enough to know that there are some I can hardly be bothered with. Result – they don’t get touched until they are overcrowding a variety I like and then they get a severe chop for firewood – Shepperdine Silt was the first to get this honour, a highly vigorous tree with large quantities of disgusting little fruit going rotten before they dropped. Cut at about knee height three years ago it has resprouted vigorously. Remember, I said I cut it off at knee height. Had I done it at ankle height it would still probably have regrown, but it would be from the rootstock below the graft union so it would no-longer be a Shepperdine Silt.

I don’t want to lose any variety in my collection. It is entirely possible that I haven’t discovered the best use for this variety yet. It took me years to discover that Green Two Year Old becomes edible after Christmas and currently is a nice crisp tart green eater, and will go on well for several months eventually becoming yellow. It is fine for cooking too.

All the varieties I planted were thought to be Gloucestershire varieties at the time. Thanks to DNA analysis, where GOT is sending off “our varieties” for testing, we now know that Green Two Year Old matches the variety held in the National Fruit Collection as French Crab, and Shepperdine Silt is Lord Lambourne. All credit to the pioneers of varietal conservation in Gloucestershire, Charles Martell, Richard Fawcett and Alan Watson; without their work more than 20 years ago we wouldn’t have the luxury of testing the varieties which they secured against possible extinction to find out how unique each one really is. Though my Green Two Year Old matches the description of French Crab fine, my Shepperdine Silt can’t be the same high-quality dessert fruit as Lord Lambourne. Summat wrong somewhere

Fermenting nicely, Juliet’s Orchard Blog January 2024 #1

The juice pressed in the autumn and early part of the winter has now all passed its frothing stage and is just bubbling away quietly.

One of life’s little pleasures is to watch the fermentation, the tiny bubbles rising to the neck of the demijohn, or the bubbler airlock filling with gas and pushing a ball of gas up the escape route.

It is good to keep an eye on the process – the level of liquid on the two sides of the bubbler should be different, with the level lower on the jar side than the escape side.

This means that fermentation is occuring as it should and the likely outcome will be cider and not vinegar.

Wassail! Horfield Organic Community Orchard – Saturday 20th January

All are welcome to Wassail and wake up the fruit trees at Horfield Organic Community Orchard

Saturday 20 January 2024, 2 – 4pm

Toast the orchard for a fruitful harvest

Bring ribbons, clouties & shining things to dress the trees

Make merry with Pigsty Morris

Homemade cake and mulled Orchard juice for sale

We Wassail whatever the weather!

Horfield Organic Community Orchard welcome all to Wassail and wake up the fruit trees at Horfield Organic Community Orchard on Saturday 20 January”, says Shannon Smith aka the Apple Tree Lady. “Whatever the weather – help us liven up a wonderful seasonal tradition that celebrates people, community, and nature”.

The ceremony kicks off soon after 2.30pm. Pigsty Morris bring their dancing and merry making to the festivities. Mulled juice and homemade cake for sale.

To find the Orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP):
Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road and Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right.
OR
Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue until you come to the last gate on the left.

Dogs on leads, please.

More information at www.community-orchard.org.uk or on this link

Scything courses at Longney, 11th May and 15th June.

Keep fit. Cut grass in an environmentally friendly way. The Trust will be running two all-day scything courses at Longney in 2024, on Saturday 11th May and on Saturday 15th June.

The courses will be run by Nicole Clough, a dedicated environmentalist who has spent much of her working life in the wildlife and conservation movements. The course will introduce attendees on how to use and look after an Austrian scythe, is suitable for complete beginners and also for those who may already have some experience but feel that scything could be working better for them.

– Introduction and familiarisation
– Setting up an Austrian scythe
– Movement and technique
– Mowing practice (there is usually an abundance of grass and nettles at Longney!)
– Sharpening in the field
– Maintenance and peening the blade

Space is limited to 6 attendees per course. The cost – partially subsidised by the Trust and thanks to a donation from Martin Hayes – is £50 per person for members (and £65 for non-members).

If you’d like to attend then please get in touch with David Lindgren David.lindgren@glosorchards.org or Martin Hayes Martin.hayes@glosorchards.org

Orchard Tour 26th April 2024

We are arranging a tour of orchards in the northern reaches of Gloucestershire – we’ll cross the border into southern Herefordshire, so you’ll need to have your passport with you and had all the necessary jabs – and have set a date of Friday 26th April.

The date has been chosen in the hope and expectation that many of the fruit trees in the orchards we’ll visit will be in blossom, the likelihood of which is enhanced that the orchards we’ll be visiting contain both perry pear and apple trees … (but the presence or otherwise of blossom is, of course, determined by natural forces, well beyond the control of the Trustees).

Price per person: £20

Details of the itinerary will be confirmed in due course, but the current plan is as follows:

– Meet at Henley Bank, Brockworth, at 10:00.
– Tour of Henley Bank orchards
– Visit two orchards in an around Dymock and Bromesberrow
– Visit orchards in Putley and / or Preston Cross
– Tour of an orchard in Overbury
– Tour of an orchard in Winchcombe
– Return to Henley Bank, Brockworth at 16:00.

We can have a maximum of 15 people. To reserve your place please contact either David Lindgren David.lindgren@glosorchards.org or Martin Hayes martin.hayes@glosorchards.org

Orchard Blossom Day Webinars 14th and 21st February

News about Orchard Blossom Day Webinars run by Orchard Network:

We are contacting you as a manager of a publicly accessible orchard, community orchard, or collection in the hope that you will be thinking about holding an Orchard Blossom event this year. 2024 will mark the third Orchard Blossom Day. Last year saw more than fifty sites hold events in the UK alone, and this year we hope to see over one hundred. The Orchard Network is promoting the Day alongside the National Trust and European Orchard Day throughout the European mainland.

Whether you have plans already or are just interested in knowing more, we would like to invite you to join us online for a short webinar to help inspire your event, share your ideas, pick up tips, and publicise events locally and online.

We will cover the following subjects:

1. What is Orchard Blossom Day?

4. Why celebrate and promote orchard blossom?

5. Where and when to have an event – In an orchard, or as part of other events throughout springtime?

6. What activities could you include? See our Publicity Pack and Activities ideas on www.orchardnetwork.org.uk.

7. Add your event to the map

8. Document the Day – take photos and video, use social media to best effect.

8. Q&A – any questions welcome in the chat function or asked at the end.

Steve Oram and the Orchard Network team.

The webinars will be held on:

Wednesday 14th February 14:00 and Wednesday 21st February 18:00

For joining details contact Orchard Network: https://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/contact

Juliet’s Orchard Blog December 2023

13 December 2023

I finished pressing the cider apples and clearing up today. The Ansell and Hagloe Crab, shaken from the tree onto tarpaulins about a month ago, were still in prime condition.

If you are organised enough to collect the fruit before it falls to the ground, it is much easier doing it this way than collecting dropped fruit that needs vigorous cleaning to get the mud off before it can be scratted. However, it is good to wait till at least some ripe fruit has fallen or it won’t be ready.

All my cider and juice is for personal or family consumption. I’ve got a ramshackle cider-making kit, involving an old garden shredder and various fermenting barrels and demi-johns bought from charity shops over the years.

My little fruit press was bought second-hand at auction and is a very good size for making single-variety juices when you only have one tree of any particular sort. I baulk at the cost of commercial strainer bags and have tried net curtains but they rot and tear quickly and the pulp will squirt out of any hole when under pressure. The best solution I’ve found is old linen tea towels. They allow a free flow of liquid and can be washed and sterilised regularly.

Juliet Bailey

MistleGO! mistletoe survey – ensure your orchard is recorded!

A brand new mistletoe survey has just been launched by the Tree Council and Oxford University, as an app-based citizen science project to assess the state of mistletoe in Britain. Not just where is it, but what quantities exist. This is new, and exciting, as it will help determine what is happening with mistletoe in Britain here – it seems to be spreading more and faster and we need a new study to assess this, and to create a baseline for assessments in future.

Orchard owners across Gloucestershire – and in adjoining Somerset, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gwent – will be familiar with the particular problem locally. Neglected traditional orchards, in the heart of mistletoe’s favoured region, can become overwhelmed by mistletoe – and it can result in the death of tress and accelerate orchard loss. It shouldn’t be like this of course – mistletoe has co-existed in our area and our orchards since at least the early 19th century and probably well before that. But the decline in interest in managing such orchards, coupled with an apparent increase in mistletoe spread, is now a problem.

Which we need to document. Many will recall the National Mistletoe Survey in the 1990s, run jointly by the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and Plantlife, the plant conservation charity. Instigated in 1992 and analysed through the 1990s up to 1999. That was led by GOT’s own Jonathan Briggs, who is an advisor on the new project  The 1990s study, also linked to orchards  but worrying that orchard loss might result in mistletoe loss (a concept that now seems naive!) merely assessed where mistletoe was growing. But not the amount growing The new project aims to address that.  There is a presentation all about it here: https://youtu.be/o6IcGgkcTGk

The assessment is not just about orchards of course – and the new project looks well beyond orchards to the wider habitats where mistletoe thrives. Anecdotal evidence, and some detailed regional local studies outside our area since the 1990s study, have suggested mistletoe is doing very well in all its habitats – orchards, parkland, churchyards, hedgerows etc. Increasing spread may be due to climate change, changes in the bird populations spreading the seeds, or something else entirely. For a discussion of all this have a read of Jonathan Briggs’ 2021 review here.

Ollie Spacey and mistletoe

So… do take part if you can. It is important that we document the abundance of mistletoe in our area!  And the new study does allow you to record multiple hosts trees at once, so no need (phew!) to document every individual orchard tree!

The project is called MistleGO! It is app-based (though you can use the website version if you prefer) and is being masterminded by Oliver Spacey, a PhD student at Oxford.  The app requires you to give location (it will do this automatically), to take a picture of the tree (or group of trees) with mistletoe, give a score of how much mistletoe there is, and, optionally, give additional information on host tree species etc. Full details (summarised below) are on the Tree Council website here and download instructions for the app (you need the Arc123 app first, and then run the MistleGO! app within that)  are here.

Or just scan this QR code.

 

How to take part:

Download the Survey123 app from the App Store or Google Play (or, if on a PC, from Microsoft)

Download the MistleGO! survey via the link above or the QR code

Open the app and click “Continue without signing in”

Click on the MistleGO! survey and start collecting your record!

You can also take part and upload pictures you’ve taken via the web version, but make sure to set your location to where you spotted the mistletoe!

A new gate and a dead hedge at Henley Bank

It may not look much more than a gate, but this gate now allows safe pedestrian access to our perry orchard at Henley Bank Brockworth, Gloucestershire, which in turn enables volunteers to help manage the orchard, so the process of returning the orchard to something approaching its former glory can now begin in earnest.  Many thanks to our treasurer Andy Ellis and his friend Richard for spending a weekend buying the materials and spending the time to get this job done.

Meanwhile, elsewhere at Henley Bank, Andy Ellis is also largely responsible for creating this ‘dead hedge’ and for all the clearing work that created the raw material from which it is made. It shows that we are making progress in restoring the orchard, making it a more welcoming and safer environment in which the local community will soon be able to join us in our volunteering work.

Note the cup of tea, resting atop the red post-banger, above David’s (our Chair of trustees) right shoulder. A hot cup of tea after an hour’s brisk and energetic work in an old traditional orchard is one of life’s pleasures.

 

Juliet’s Orchard Blog November 2023

A new series of posts from GOT trustee Juliet Bailey.

30 November 2023

It’s a frosty day.

I had intended scratting and pressing cider with the varieties Hagloe Crab and Ansell, both picked about 10 days ago, but the hosepipe feeding the waterbath for washing them had been left out all night, and not a dribble was getting through.

So I went down to the orchard to see what was still on the trees.

Plenty of Lemon Roy, though more than half of them were on the floor, but all now safely gathered in. Charles Martell’s Native Apples of Gloucestershire has them down as a culinary variety, but I find them pleasant eating, crisp with a good balance of sweet and acidity, even if not very aromatic.

I got my first decent crop from a young Kernel Underleaf tree. This has to be a cider variety, sweet enough, but with a cardboard texture to the flesh and a thick skin. Still, it ripens late, so could be a good one to have to spread the load of processing through the season. If you were wondering what a “tip-bearer” looks like, this is it. The photo shows fruit dangling at the tip of a long twig which bends under the weight.

Finally, I picked the remaining Elmore Pippins. These ripen in store and will be a good little eater in January.

I hope to get round to picking the Green 2-year Olds this week, then the birds are welcome to the rest.

Juliet Bailey

An RHS Award for Jim!

Many congratulations to Jim Chapman, our (actually the) Perry Pear expert, who has been presented with the RHS 2023 George Lockie Award for his perry pear work.

The award is given by the Royal Horticultural Society in recognition of “significant personal achievement relating to fruit, vegetables or culinary herbs.”

The presentation took place on 16th September at the Hartpury Orchard Centre open afternoon. The award was presented by RHS fruit root and herb committee chairman Tony Girard.

Picture by Martin Hayes.

First Plum Day report from Hartpury

Jim Chapman writes, about the Plum Day held at Hartpury at the end of August:

“We eventually had about 35 plums in the plum display, with others discarded having gone over – I realise now why nobody does one, would have been far better a week earlier. Next year, if I try again, I will let the plums dictate the date and then announce it on facebook, not try to advertise a date ahead ! However we had visitors from Evesham and Pershore saying that even the Pershore Plum Festival didn’t display many.

60 people turned up, so not bad for a first attempt (if I am honest I think many were attracted by the tap bar!). Visitors particularly enjoyed tasting some Victoria alternatives – Jimmy Moore, Cox’s Emperor (Denbigh), and of course, Bristol. Still waiting to verify the Jacob, when it fruits.”

(and, for all those interested in Gloucestershire’s Plum varieties, why not buy a copy of Charles Martell’s 2018 book about them? The paperback edition of Native Plums of Gloucestershire is available to buy on our Bookshop page here)

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Exhibition of Stan Giles’ orchard paintings; October 3rd to 8th, 2023

One of  Stan's orchard paintings
One of Stan’s orchard paintings

GOT member Stan Giles has been drawing and painting in Gloucestershire orchards over the last year and has an exhibition at the Three Storeys creative venue in Nailsworth in October.

Details of the exhibition are here:
https://www.threestoreys.co.uk/whatsonarticles/stan123

And you can read and see more about Stan’s work on his own website here:  https://walkswithapaintbrushuk.wordpress.com

Orchard survey online

posted in: orchard | 0
Another student questionnaire about orchards!
Julian Barnes, at City University, London, is studying for an MSc in Food Policy. His dissertation is concerned with the decline of traditional/non-intensive orchards in the UK, as well as discovering their socio-cultural and environmental value.
He has asked if GOT members could help by participating in his (anonymous) questionnaire which is online at:
Do pass this on to anyone else who may be interested.

Show time! August to September 2023

GOT members will be attending and exhibiting fruit, juice and cider and perry at several shows this season.

There’s the Malvern Autumn Show, 22nd to 24th September where Jim Chapman will again be exhibiting his amazing collection of perry pears. Three Counties Showground, Malvern WR13 6NW.

Jim will also be displaying perry pears at Hartpury on the afternoon of Saturday 16th September. 

And also on Friday 13th October at the Hereford Courtyard Theatre, Edgar St., Hereford HR4 9JR.

Additionally, there may be a display of plums at Hartpury on the afternoon of Sunday 27th August, primarily to show Gloucestershire’s plums varieties. If it happens, this will include the Bristol plum; until recently the only known tree had plum pox, but we now have a clean tree from which to propagate.

Not forgetting…the Frampton Country Fair, Sunday 10th September, one of the last truly country fairs.  Tim Andrews, Trustee, will be there with his Orchard Revival cider and perry. For more information visit the website https://framptoncountryfair.co.uk or call 01452 740152 or email info@framptoncountryfair.co.uk

Longney Apple Harvest Saturday 21st October

from 10:00

Apples picked in October will contribute to the Trust’s coffers, as the fruit will be sold to Trust Juice … and you’ll also receive some free apple juice in return.

 

If the access track is still navigable in November then there may also be a fruit harvesting day on Saturday 18th November.

Diary dates for 2024 – pruning workshops and other events

Saturday 13th January, from 10:00 Pruning workshop at Longney

Saturday 10th February, from 10:00 Pruning workshop at Longney

Saturday 9th March, from 10:00 Pruning workshop at Hartpury

Saturday 13th April:  Location and activity to be confirmed

Saturday 11th May:  Location and activity to be confirmed

Saturday 6th June;  Location and activity to be confirmed

We levy a small fee of £5 for the pruning workshops from our supporters; the sessions are also open to the general public for a fee of £25.

If you’d like to sign up to a pruning workshop then please email martin.hayes@glosorchards.org and treasurer@glosorchards.org

Community Orchard Survey – 10 minutes online

posted in: community, orchard, volunteers | 0
Masters student Rosa Smith from the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester is undertaking a study called

Assessing the environmental and social impacts of restoring traditional orchards in Gloucestershire.

The purpose is to gain a better understanding of the social impacts of orchard restoration throughout the county.

It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. You are free to omit any question.

The survey is at https://rau.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/community-orchards-survey

Do pass on to anyone else who may be interested.
Also, if anyone would be able to do a short Zoom interview with Rosa, let us know as that would also be much appreciated.
As we know, community orchards are a huge benefit culturally, socially, historically and for wildlife as well as reducing food miles!

Local beekeeper looking for orchard trees for a bee hive:

Magdalena writes:
My name is Magdalena and I’m an aspiring beekeeper from Cheltenham looking for a tree to place my first hive box on. I thought about orchards because of the benefit the bees could provide by pollinating fruit trees in the spring, in turn collecting their nectar. I’d like to reach out to the orchard groups and owners to ask if anyone would be interested in having bees around their orchard and thought the best way would be to ask through your Orchard Trust.
The Warre hive box I have is fairly small about 30x30cm plus roof and floor and I have a L-shaped frame which can be attached to a tree with screws – this is the gentlest method of attaching an object to a living tree that I know of since the screws pull the wood fibres apart rather than damage them, I also chose stainless-steel screws for the attachment to avoid introducing rust to the tree. The hive box could be attached to a tree that is near the orchard rather than an orchard tree itself as I understand using the orchard trees directly might not be the most suitable option when collecting the fruit. This way the bees would not be too close to bother anyone in the orchard but close enough to pollinate the trees in the spring.
The Warre hive box itself requires only a couple of visits per year, the bees benefit from the shade and shelter a tree provides and this would be the closest to where they naturally build their combs – in a hollow of a tree. Unfortunately, there are not many old trees with hollows left for bees to make their home there and this method while very natural for the bees, still allows for honey to be collected with little disturbance to the bees.

Magdalena  07871850614    mprokupkova98@gmail.com

Identification of fruit varieties 2023

The DNA analysis project run via FruitID is now in its 8th year.  This year the scheme offers DNA analysis at £32.50 plus VAT per sample for Apples, Pears, and Cherries.

If you would like to participate, please go to www.fruitID.com/#help where you can find the Announcement and Timetable, a Request Form to ask for sample bags, detailed collection guidance, results from previous years, and an Introduction to DNA Fingerprinting.

Also at the FruitID website Muriel Smith’s National Apple Register for the UK is now available as a digital download.

To find it, go to www.fruitID.com/#help then click on ‘Pomonas’ from the list on the left and look for the 1971 entry. Thanks to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species for funding the digitisation of this great resource.

Blossom time events late April and early May

Blossom Day at Days Cottage

Sunday April 23rd 1.00 – 4.00 – details coming soon at dayscottage.co.uk

Hartpury Orchard Centre Blossom Day

Sunday 23 April 2023 12 noon-5pm Blossom day, enjoy a picnic in the orchard. Bar will be open.  https://www.hartpuryheritage.org.uk/events/blossom-day-event/

Big Apple Blossom time

Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May 2023 at Much Marcle. https://www.bigapple.org.uk/blossomtime-putley/

Other Blossom opportunities

GOT’s Longney Orchard by the River Severn is pretty when the plum, pear and apple blossom is out. See access information here:  https://glosorchards.org/home/got-orchards/

Local community orchard groups such as Horfield Organic Community Orchard (Bristol) and Wolds End Orchard (Chipping Campden) often hold a lovely blossom event. Check their websites soon!

The Vale of Evesham has a blossom trail. https://www.visitevesham.co.uk/about-vale/blossom-trail/

Orchard Network Blossom Day Resources

https://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/orchard-blossom-day

Hartpury Dawn Chorus Sunday 7th May 2023

Sunday 7 May 2023 05.00 Hartpury Orchard Centre.

An early start for those wanting to catch the dawn chorus. This is a joint event with the Orchard Centre and Gloucestershire Naturalist Society.

At 05.15 we set off, when the mists above Colliers Brook and Catsbury start to rise as the sun comes up. The slow ramble takes about 45 minutes, going through the perry pear orchards and alongside the lakes and reedbeds. It is a friendly informal morning.

Toast and hot drinks are served afterwards. We welcome quiet children – but sorry, no dogs. Meet at the Orchard Centre, Blackwell’s End, GL19 3DB, SO 784254, Hartpury, Gloucestershire. There is plenty of parking available. It is a free event, though donations are welcome to support the Orchard Centre and Trust work. Wellies or strong boots essential. Leader Mervyn Greening.

National Perry Pear Centre Events 2023

https://www.hartpuryheritage.org.uk/events/ and https://www.nationalperrypearcentre.org.uk/events/

Sunday 23 April 2023 12 noon-5pm – Blossom day, enjoy a picnic in the orchard

Sunday 7 May 2023 5am Dawn chorus walk led by Mervyn Greening (for details click here)

Sunday 14 May 2023 Rogation service in orchard 6pm

Sunday 21 May 2023 Moth breakfast 9am opening moth traps and identification

Between 3 and 11 June 2023 (dates to be fixed) Moth event in Hartpury churchyard

Bat walk in churchyard (provisional)

Sunday 11 June 2023 Garden Open Prestberries Cottage (Jim’s large garden includes fruit trees)

August – Plum display date to be fixed (provisionally Sunday 27 August 2023)

Saturday 16 September 2023 Perry pear display

October Apple display (provisional)

Sunday 26 November 2023 Christmas market

The Big Help Out – Coronation Volunteer Day at Longney!  8th May 2023

Our volunteering day at Longney, Monday 8th May 

As part of our informal get-together on 8th May, we’re teaming up with CPRE to help with their recently launched Hedgerow Hero project.  Hedges are the country’s largest nature reserve and  we’re going to assess the health of the hedges in and around our orchards at Longney and submit  our findings to their national database.  It’s all part of The Big Help Out

GOT Trustee David Lindgren (with GOT’s Tim Andrews of CPRE Gloucestershire) about the exciting The Big Help Out Day, a national event but here based at GOT’s Longney Orchard, just south of Gloucester. You and your families would be most welcome.

 

  • Arrive:  10:30 
  • Hedgerow Hero and Orchard Help Out 10:30 to 13:00 
  • Relaxation and Refreshment 13:00 onwards
For location and parking instructions click here.

First orchard is Long Tyning (long and thin) then Bollow. Also on site are Middle & Lower Orchards which have been planted up with heritage apple and plum trees of regional/national importance.

We look forward to seeing you! Any queries to David Lingren david@cotswoldfruit.co.uk

Please note there is no vehicular access, so please park at or near the white railings on the road, being mindful of neighbours.
The track is very muddy but the orchards are lovely and a wildlife haven. No dogs please; there are sheep and please keep gates closed.

There is a barn (with interpretation signage), chairs, composting loo and running cold water. Re health and safety, there is a first aid kit in the store in the barn. The ground is uneven, there are some brambles and low hanging branches. The river Severn is fenced off.

 

GOT AGM 13th May 2023

posted in: AGM, Events, Henley, meetings, Past Events | 0

Saturday morning 13 May 2023 at Brockworth Community Hall

Business, speakers and optional walk around GOT’s new Henley Bank Orchard. Brockworth Community Hall, Court Road, Brockworth GL3 4ET https://brockworth-pc.gov.uk/

Agenda:

10.30am-11.45am Business and AOB/Question Time then joint presentation by Megan Finn Project Officer for “Treescapes” and Meyrick Brentnall.

Meyrick is a GOT trustee who is the lead for Henley Bank orchard and also works for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT).

There will then be a walk to/around GOT’s new Henley Bank Orchard.

No charge for the AGM.

Parking:

Spaces will be very limited at the community hall itself (and there will be a group using our main hall afterwards so please don’t leave cars there after the meeting). Traffic wardens operate at the local shops. Best to park in the street. For the orchard visit, after the meeting, you can park on Mill Lane or in the small parking area directly opposite the secondary school or unofficially at Brockworth Garden Centre (A46 almost opposite the orchard), but please note we do not have specific permission for the garden centre. It is one mile from the community hall to the orchard main gate. The entrance to the orchard is currently the field gate on the A46. From Mill Lane, there is a shortish walk left up the A46, pavement most of the way, but rough verge for some of the A46 part (unless we cross the road, but we will need to cross back again). Trustees will help guide people to the car park and orchard. There is room for just one car at the orchard gate – we can arrange lifts direct to there from Mill Lane if needed.

Please check the GOT website for any changes nearer the time

Please note: 

Please note that as GOT has only quite recently acquired the orchard, it is still quite overgrown and it is the nesting season until 1 September. The ground is uneven and damp in places. Wellies needed! But it is a lovely place and we would be delighted to see you and have a chat about our plans. Ann will not be there at the AGM, but the event will be run by our trustees. (Andy Ellis, our treasurer, will be acting membership secretary by then).

Grafting Workshops at Days Cottage 2023

Grafting Workshops at Days Cottage 2023

  • Thursday 30th March 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Thursday 6th April 10.00am – 1.00pm

Learn the ancient skill of propagating fruit trees by inserting a scion of your chosen variety into a rootstock. Take your tree home at the end of the session.

Rootstocks and a range of heritage variety scions provided. Includes refreshments and homemade flapjacks in our cosy yurt. £45.00

To book please contact applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602

New Longney plantings

News sent in by Stuart Smith:

Newly planted in the apple collection at Longney are two Upright French, propagated for us by John Teiser from Bulmer’s Adam’s Hill Orchard. These are grafted onto crab stock, whereas most of the apples are M25.

Another difference which you can see in one of the photos is that the guards are scaled down from the original design – the posts are about 1.35m, the sides about 84cm.

The trees are planted in ground that has not had trees before so there is no risk of replant disease, but because space is limited it might be necessary to plant a replacement in the same position.

John told me that there are rootstocks that have been shown to overcome the inhibitory effect – such as the Geneva® (G) range.

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Longney Workshops throughout 2023

GOT orchardist Martin Hayes is running a series of workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard, south of Gloucester.

Date will be (many not yet confirmed):

  • Friday Feb 17th Pruning, mature apple trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday Mar 22nd Pruning, young apple & pear trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday Apr 12th Pruning, young apple & pear trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday 10th May Pruning, mature plum trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • Wednesday 14th June Pruning, young plum trees (10:00 to 15:00)
  • July, date tbc General maintenance
  • Aug, date tbc General maintenance
  • Aug, date tbc Pick your own plums
  • Sept, date tbc Pick your own plums (and apples, if any are ripe)
  • Oct, date tbc Fruit picking for Trust Juice
We are hoping that a regular work-party will be able to help with general maintenance, but no commitment if you just want to attend a pruning workshop.
There is a barn (with interpretation signage), chairs, composting loo and running cold water. Have your lunch in the barn!
Martin is very knowledgeable; so much to learn/share. He will go through health and safety with you. He is first aid trained and we have a first aid kit in the store. The ground is uneven, there are some brambles and low hanging branches.
Tools will be provided, but do bring your own saws, secateurs and gloves if you can. Please bring own refreshments and appropriate footwear and weather attire.
No dogs please; there are sheep and please keep gates closed.
No vehicular access, so please park at or near the white railings on the road, being mindful of neighbours.
If anyone is able to take a couple of photos on the day (if no one objects) for the GOT website, please let us know, thank you via info@glosorchards.org
First orchard is Long Tyning (long and thin) then Bollow. Also on site are Middle & Lower Orchards which have been planted up with heritage apple and plum trees of regional/national importance.
Please book (essential) via info@glosorchards.org and on the day please bring emergency contact details for Martin.
£5 for GOT members for just the workshops (and £20 for non members, which includes a year’s membership).
You can pay through the Donate button on the GOT website at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/
(non members can also join on that page).

Longney Workshop News

The first of our planned monthly workshops at Longney Orchard took place on 18th January.

A small team of energetic (and young) people pruned about 8 to 10 trees at the far end of the Long Tyning part of the orchard.

The prunings have been gathered into piles, but some limbs are rather big for manhandling so there are several piles of wood.

These will be tackled and sorted, and tidying up pruned wood at a later date.

More Longney workshops are planned – details will be posted on the website.

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GOT in the news #3: Martin and Tim on Youtube

This is a video filmed in GOT’s orchards at Longney:  This is the summary from the CPRE page:

An interview with Tim Andrews, County Director of CPRE Gloucestershire, and Martin Hayes. Martin is an expert orchardist and key member of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust. The interview explores why orchards are special to Martin and Gloucestershire, and the work Martin does to reverse their decline. Around 75% of orchards have been lost in Gloucestershire in the last 50 years.

The interview was filmed in Longney, near Gloucester at an orchard owned by the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust. CPRE Gloucestershire is presently helping to restore around 10 acres of orchard at near Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.

Tim Andrews directed, filmed and edited the video – it was his first try at doing this.  And it is rather good, though Tim says ‘improvements are planned for next time’.

 

GOT in the news #2: BBC Countryfile

posted in: mistletoe, orchard, TV, volunteers | 0

Gloucestershire orchards featured in the Christmas broadcast of BBC Countryfile, on 18th December.

Countryfile’s Adam Henson, a Gloucestershire farmer himself, joined GOT’s Jonathan Briggs and Tim Andrews in tackling excess mistletoe in an orchard at Moreton Valence.  Jonathan talked to Adam about mistletoe issues and Tim brought along the kit to do the work and talked Adam through the process. And passed round some of his cider afterwards.

The whole piece lasted for about 6 minutes – which is not bad of this sort of programme!

You can view the whole programme (the orchard section starts at about 13 minutes in) at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001gcmv/countryfile-rockingham-castle

There are some screenshots below:

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GOT in the news #1: Martin and the planting of 400 trees

posted in: orchard, planting, volunteers | 0

Martin Hayes’ recent, and very successful, work to plant more orchard trees as part of a Trees for Climate Change project has generated a lot of interest, including from the media. He liaised with Gloucestershire County Council to give heritage fruit trees to community orchard groups and individuals across the county – many thanks to him and all who have taken part.

David Lindgren, Chair of GOT, said “Over 400 fruit trees are being planted around the county in about 20 orchards. Orchards remain under great threat in Gloucestershire. They continue to decline due to the lack of maintenance, excessive mistletoe and lack of succession planting. We hope that this will add to the work that the Trust already does helping to reverse the decline. Much of the hard work applying for the various grants was undertaken by orchardist and member of the Trust, Martin Hayes. Martin has travelled around Europe thanks to his work with orchards. His most recent visit was to Hungary to share his knowledge and research how orchards are managed in central Europe.

Martin added “The biodiversity value of traditional orchards like we see in Gloucestershire is huge. These trees will help make sure there are healthy orchard habitats in 50 years time across the county.”

The initiative has been covered the Stroud News and Journal, The Gazette, Stroud Times and Punchline. And has been filmed for BBC Points West – more about that – and a Radio interview – soon.

Thornbury Orchard Group Work Party 4th Jan 2023

Wednesday 4 January 2023 at 9.30am at the Orchard.

The Orchard is in the valley between Swallow Park and Finch Close; nearest post code is BS35 1LT.

There will be another event on Wednesday 18 January 2023 between 10:45am and 11:45am at the Orchard.

For more details contact the orchard via the website at https://www.sustainablethornbury.org/orchard/index.php?mylink=orchardcontactus

Pruning workshop at GOT’s Longney Orchard 18th January 2023

For GOT Members only:
Orchardist Martin Hayes is running a pruning workshop at GOT’s Longney Orchard on this coming Wednesday 18th January between 10am and 3pm.
Tools will be provided, but do bring your own saws, secateurs and gloves if you can.
Please bring own refreshments and appropriate footwear and weather attire.
The track is very muddy but the orchards are lovely and we’ve been blessed with fieldfares feasting on fallen fruit.
No dogs please; there are sheep and please keep gates closed.
No vehicular access, so please park at or near the white railings on the road, being mindful of neighbours.
No charge but GOT members only – (you can join at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/)
There is a barn (with interpretation signage), chairs, composting loo and running cold water. Have your lunch in the barn!
Martin is very knowledgeable; so much to learn/share.
He will go through health and safety with you. He is first aid trained and we have a first aid kit in the store.
The ground is uneven, there are some brambles and low hanging branches. The river Severn is fenced off.
Please leave prunings in designated piles.
If anyone is able to take a couple of photos on the day (if no one objects) for the GOT website and newsletter, please let me know, thank you!
First orchard is Long Tyning (long and thin) then Bollow. Also on site are Middle & Lower Orchards which have been planted up with heritage apple and plum trees of regional/national importance.
Please book through Martin on 07900 985679 or martin.hayes9@yahoo.com
and on the day please bring emergency contact details.  2022/12/21 at 12:26

Wolds End Orchard Wassail Friday 13th January 2023 

Wassail is on! Friday 13 January 2023 

Eight Bells Inn, Church St, from 7pm, Wolds End Orchard, approx 8pm, Red Lion Tavern, Lower High St, approx 9pm

The Campden Wassailers will meet in The Eight Bells Inn from 7pm to play and enjoy some traditional folk music; at about 8pm there will be a procession to Wolds End Orchard. After the traditional Wassail ceremony at the Orchard –  including singing of the Old Apple Tree Chant and enjoying a glass of mulled cider or apple juice around the fire – there will be a procession from the Orchard to the Red Lion Tavern, where more music will ensue. The Procession is led by ‘Musicianeers’ and followed by ‘Pot Rattlers’ (basically rattling and banging pots or drums) to make a ‘din’ and frighten off evil spirits.

All Hail the Wassail!

Please wear suitable footwear and outdoor clothing – site is very uneven and has slopes.

Parking on the High Street or Campden School Car Park.

Please also bring torches or wear battery operated lights for the Grand Procession betwixt pubs and orchard.

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Picture credits:-

Apple Tree with ladder & blue star paper lanterns is courtesy of Janice Burns

All others are courtesy of Julianne Davis and Paul Bryan.

Orchard Revival pruning workshop Thursday 19th January

Come help look after traditional orchards across Gloucestershire.
This month Orchard Revival will be holding pruning workshops at Halmore and North Nibley.
Friday 13th January – Halmore. Led by Tim Andrews restoring old apple trees that needs lots of love and attention. Supported by CPRE Gloucestershire, The Ernest Cook Trust and Severn Trent
Tuesday 17th January CHANGE OF DATE – now Thursday 19th January – North Nibley. Led by orchardist Martin Hayes (The Apple Man Can). Formative pruning of over 350 young apple trees. Perfect for those that want to learn how to prune trees they have recently planted in their own gardens.
Contact Tim Andrews via Orchard Revival (facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/OrchardRevivalCider, website here: Orchard Revival for more details.

Orchard Revival pruning workshop Friday 13th January

Come help look after traditional orchards across Gloucestershire.
This month Orchard Revival will be holding pruning workshops at Halmore and North Nibley.
Friday 13th January – Halmore. Led by Tim Andrews restoring old apple trees that needs lots of love and attention. Supported by CPRE Gloucestershire, The Ernest Cook Trust and Severn Trent
Tuesday 17th January – North Nibley. Led by orchardist Martin Hayes (The Apple Man Can). Formative pruning of over 350 young apple trees. Perfect for those that want to learn how to prune trees they have recently planted in their own gardens.
Contact Tim Andrews via Orchard Revival (facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/OrchardRevivalCider, website here: Orchard Revival for more details.

Cinderford Grows Wassail, 14th January 2023

posted in: orchard, Past Events, wassail | 0

Cinderford Grows have announced their first Wassail at their new Community Orchard in Steam Mills.  On 14th January 2023 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

They say:
Please join us in this old tradition to wish the trees good health for the year ahead. Apple juice as a refreshment will be provided, but please bring your own cup or drinking vessel as well as battery operated torches. If you own any loud instruments, you are welcome to bring them along, or alternatively bring some pots and pans to bang!

Wrap up warm for the festivities, and please wear appropriate footwear as the ground is uneven in places.

We look forward to seeing you from 4pm! Parking at the site is limited, so please keep this in mind.

The Steam Mills Community Orchard is located at the South end of the playing field. What3words: painting.overture.vote.

If you have any questions, please send one of us a message or comment on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/6168926016514570/

Wassail at Horfield Community Orchard, 14th Jan 2023

Cidering the apple tree roots – Wassail 2021

Wassail at Horfield Organic Community Orchard, Bristol on Saturday 14 January, 2-4pm

  • Mulled juice & home made cakes for sale
  • Bring clouties & shiny things to dress the trees

To find the orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP) – Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Road & Kellaway Avenue), turn left and it’s the first gate on the right.

OR

Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Avenue (BS7 8QQ) until you come to the last gate on the left.

Contact HOCO c/o the website to sign up for up-to-date information: www.community-orchard.org.uk

Phone: 0117 373 1587

Orchard Learning Programme 2023 at Horfield Organic Community Orchard

Pruning in winter

Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO) is celebrating 25 years as a community and fruit-growing project. Since 1998 hundreds of volunteer members have cared for nearly a hundred fruiting trees. HOCO is also raising an urban orchard for community education and horticultural experimentation. The Orchard Learning Programme, developed in 2018, is a hands-on and holistic adventure in community orcharding that guides participants over a growing season at HOCO.

The 9-month course (see dates summary below) is designed to deepen the knowledge and sharpen the skills of those involved in the close care of fruit trees. It is ideal for growers with previous fruit growing experience, and highly recommended for anyone starting up, or involved with, an orchard. Participants work with less-than-perfect trees and learn by doing.

Programme content and structure are always evolving – driven by climate chaos, and shaped by the experiences and needs of participants. The blend of group learning days and one-to-one sessions was a great success when introduced last year. All sessions take place outdoors in the example-rich Horfield Organic Community Orchard. They are led by Shannon Smith – an experienced community orchard grower and educator.

Successful applicants are partnered with a fruit tree – their Tree Buddy – for the year. They join with other HOCO members to help organise orchard working meetings and community events.

Places are limited. Deadline for applications is Sunday 29 January 2023.

More information on the HOCO website: www.community-orchard.org.uk

Days Cottage Pruning Course 2nd Feb 2023

Thursday 2nd February 10.00am – 1.00pm

Learn to prune fruit trees of all ages. Hands-on training that demystifies those gardening book diagrams! Create shapely, healthy, productive trees. Includes refreshments and hot drinks in cosy yurt.

Maximum of 12 people on the course. All tools provided, but bring your own if you prefer.

£40.00

There will be a repeat of this course on Tuesday 21st February 10.00am – 1.00pm

Details at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

To book please contact applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602

Hartpury Orchard Centre Wassail 3rd Feb 2023

Wassail, the traditional winter festival at Hartpury Orchard Centre

Blackwell’s End GL19 3DB

Friday 3rd February 2023, 6.30pm for 7pm

Hot food and bar with cider & perry

Wrap up warm, bring a torch, and come and enjoy an evening with the traditional customs of toasting the orchards, wassailing the trees, pouring cider on their roots.

Food and singing in the open shed afterwards with Rob and Gillian from May Hill on hurdy gurdy, pipe and drums!

Admission free!

Charge for food and drink – and donation buckets!

Days Cottage Pruning Course 21st Feb 2023

Tuesday 21st February 10.00am – 1.00pm

Learn to prune fruit trees of all ages. Hands-on training that demystifies those gardening book diagrams! Create shapely, healthy, productive trees. Includes refreshments and hot drinks in cosy yurt.

Maximum of 12 people on the course. All tools provided, but bring your own if you prefer.

£40.00

Details at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

To book please contact applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602

A successful Christmas market at Hartpury Orchard Centre

posted in: cider, Hartpury, orchard, perry | 0

From Jim Chapman:

A very good turn out for the first Christmas market at Hartpury Orchard Centre last weekend!

Warm enough for folk to sit around outside enjoying a pint of perry, a mulled cider or a mug of homemade soup!

The Gloucester cattle in the orchard took an interest too!

Holly and mistletoe were popular – we should have cut more, and freezers are now well supplied with locally reared meat. The Old Spot burgers particularly popular and one kid has since asked Father Christmas for more of those sausage rolls!

Already planning for a bigger and better one in 2023!!

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Henley Bank Orchard News

posted in: Henley, orchard | 0

Work to clear much of the many years of overgrowth at Henley Bank began today.

Contractors Greenfields were on site at 0800 to start clearing around some of the trees and enable us to assess them, manage them and, ultimately, crop the fruit.

The work will take a few days to complete and the site won’t be open for general access for a while yet as we have to assess tree safety.

Many thanks to Meyrick Brentnall for masterminding this stage of the works.

Preliminary work – a tractor powered unit will follow afterwards

 

Longney Orchard News

This picture, taken by Ann, shows Stuart Smith after the planting work

Ann Smith writes:

Today we planted more Gloucestershire plum trees at GOT’s Longney Orchard and replaced one or two apple trees. The soil is good quality and drains well.

Sheep continue to graze the orchards. The flocks of fieldfares and redwings were enjoying the fallen apples.

A tattered red admiral butterfly warmed itself on the barn brickwork in full sun on this mild November day. It was rather tattered, weary from a long year chased by birds or perhaps it was tipsy from the fermented fruit! Will it survive the winter? They are known to enter a dormant state and the barn would certainly provide shelter.

The red admiral picture (right) and the fieldfare pictures below were taken by John Fletcher, who is a regular birdwatcher at Longney.

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BBC feature on local orchards

The BBC news website featured traditional orchards last week, timed to coincide with Apple Day.

It highlighted the work being carried out to conserve orchards, and traditional varieties, locally and regionally in Somerset and Gloucestershire  The article also highlighted the work of PTES and the Orchard Network nationally.

For Gloucestershire both GOT and the Wildlife Trust were mentioned, discussing local sites and the work being done to find and conserve local varieties.

For the full article click here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-63298873

Pictures from Days Cottage Apple Day

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The perry pear painting on the bench is by Chris Bingle, whose work can be seen at subtlecolours.com

Apple Days are here

Have you been to an Apple Day this season yet?  Many of our local events have happened already (click on our Past events tab to see these), but some are still to come.

National Apple Day was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. Their aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.

The concept was initially set as 21st October but, in practice, the date is variable depending on which area you’re in and what orchard group is doing what.

It has become incredibly successful over the 30 years since – with events taking place all over the country organised by local orchard and apple groups, across a range of dates throughout October.

For information on Apple Day events around the country visit https://ptes.org/campaigns/traditional-orchard-project/orchard-network/apple-day/

https://www.commonground.org.uk/apple-day/

Grafting Workshop, Winterbourne Barn, 18th February 2023

Winterbourne Barn’s annual grafting workshop will take place on Saturday 18th February 2023 from 10am to 4pm.

Come and learn how to graft apple trees on this course under the tuition of Ben Raskin, a previous commercial fruit grower and an enthusiastic, effective and very knowledgeable teacher, now Head of Horticulture at The Soil Association.

Visit www.winterbournebarn.org.uk/events and scroll through until you come to Apple Grafting for details.

Or, to see booking information, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/winterbourne-medieval-barn-trust/t-avvoeav

Celebrate Apple Day at Horfield Organic Community Orchard – Sunday 16 Oct, 2-4pm

All are welcome to celebrate Apple Day with Horfield Organic Community Orchard
Sunday 16 October, 2 – 4pm

Details at http://www.community-orchard.org.uk/public-events or click here for flyer/poster 

Turning Bristol into an orchard city since 1998

  • Fruit trees for sale*
  • Tasting table – sample local and less common varieties
  • Fresh-pressed juice and home made cake for sale
  • Local produce for sale
  • Pests and problems? Ask the experts!
  • Join the orchard as a Friend and support our work

To find the orchard (nearest postcode BS7 8JP)
Walk down the lane beside 22 Kings Drive (between Bishop Rd & Kellaway Ave), turn left and enter the first gate on the right.
OR
Take the lane beside 134 Longmead Ave until you come to the third gate on the left.
Dogs on leads, please.

Contact: hocohello@gmail.com
phone: 0117 373 1587
http://www.community-orchard.org.uk/public-events

*Pre-ordering recommended to avoid disappointment.
See the HOCO website for more information:
http://www.community-orchard.org.uk

Preparing for Apple Day at Days Cottage

Helen and Dave at Days Cottage have been busy setting up the displays for their Apple Day next Sunday (16th October, 1-4pm).  Helen has sent these pictures and notes:

This is part of the Gloucestershire collection – there will 90 varieties altogether of which 45 are Gloucestershire ones from the Days Cottage Museum Orchard.

Here are a few of the Gloucestershire varieties, starting with the delightfully named Hen’s Turds, followed by Gloucester Royal and then Ben Lans. Such beautiful fruit this year:

the next picture shows the genetic instability of Siddington Russet…you can see 2 heavily russeted apples and 2 smooth green ones all on the same branch!

And lastly Cambridge Queening…a gorgeous apple from Cambridge, the village south of Gloucester on the A38. It is the best variety for making Tarte Tatin. Helen writes that they had a chef at one of their Apple Days who made lots of Tarte Tatins with different varieties and Cambridge Queening won the taste test hands down! Also known as Cambridge Quoining…thought to be from the angled shape reflecting quoin stones used on the corners of buildings.

Shaking the Severn Bank

Helen from Days Cottage getting a full work out while shaking a Severn Bank apple tree in the Museum Orchard at Day’s Cottage.

She writes that ‘we’ve used the fruit to make a first experimental barrel of 100% Severn Bank as the crop has been so heavy this season. Will let you know how it turns out next year.’

Apples for sale, Randwick

posted in: apples, harvest, orchard | 0

Orchard at Humphreys End , Randwick , Stroud (Croft farm)

For sale – An abundance of different eating/cooking apples – 15 large saplings of Gloucestershire varieties.

Also Bramleys and Newton Wonders from 8 mature trees.

Ripening from mid-October, and available for picking.

Further information – Julia Currie – 01453 764376

Big Apple Harvestime 8th and 9th October 2022

Big Apple, the orchard association for the Much Marcle area, is holding its annual Harvestime weekend on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October.

Nine venues are ready to welcome visitors to Much Marcle over the two days.

The venues have plenty to offer visitors. There will be opportunities to enjoy the local orchards, see, hear and smell cider and perry being made and taste and buy many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices.

Full details at https://www.bigapple.org.uk/harvestime2022/

Apple Day at Fishponds Community Orchard 9th October 2022

Fishponds Community Orchard are holding their Apple day on 9th October at Thingwall Park Allotments.

From midday until 5pm.

There will be juicing, cider, other produce plus woodturning, live music and story-telling.

Details from fishpondsorchard@gmail.com or their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FishpondsOrchard/

 

Rockness Orchard/Stan’s Patch Apple Day, 9th October

Apple Day at our Rockness Orchard  near Nailsworth, will be on Sunday 9th October in the afternoon. There is a wonderful amount of fruit.

The orchard has now been scythed and cleared. Particular summer profusion on the banks of betony, field scabious, St

Johns wort and wild marjoram. We also have newts in our little pond.

 

Great excitement, as where the huge ash was felled, plums have shot up bearing wonderful delicious fruit. What a gift.

If anyone can identify from a photograph, we would be thrilled.

Early fruit (in profusion) has gone to the Long Table in Stroud to be redistributed and shared.

 

More information from Fiona Valentine fionav@phonecoop.coop

Tim Andrews on BBC Gardeners World, tomorrow, Friday 30th September 2022

An update on the previous news about this – the broadcast is due tomorrow, Friday 30th, at 20.00.

Details on the BBC website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001clnc

Tim Andrews, from Orchard Revival in North Nibley says:

Watch us talk about the work we do restoring traditional orchards in Gloucestershire on BBC Gardeners World. Over the last 50 years Gloucestershire has lost over 75% of these amazing habitats. Here at Orchard Revival we prune and re-plant these traditional orchards and more importantly share orchard skills so others can do it too.

The segment was filmed in the beautiful Pocketts Orchard, in Whitminster where we help lead orchard restoration for the Cotswold Canals Connected project and the Gloucestreshire Wildlife Trust as part of the Stroudwater canal restoration.

If you miss us on TV you’ll be able to hear us on BBC Gloucestershire with Kate Clark on Sunday 2nd October from 10am. Kate and I will be having a good chat about all things orchards, along with my work with the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, Cotswold Canals Connected, the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, CPRE Gloucestershire and The Ernest Cook Trust.

 

Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve Apple Day, 16th October

Apple Day at Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve in Leckhampton, Cheltenham. Sunday 16th October 2022.

Timings at present are 2.30-4pm; they may alter slightly so visitors should check latest updates.

There will be children’s activities including apple games, scavenger hunt and creative art, our mini ‘railway rides’ and refreshments for sale.

We hope there will still be enough apples available after this summer’s weather challenges!

Details from Hazel Bolton, Group coordinator for PBNR hazelbolton@googlemail.com

Days Cottage Orchard & Rural Skills Centre Apple Afternoon 16th October

Dave Kaspar identifying apples. Small number of representative samples only please!

This year’s apple celebrations at Days Cottage will be on Sunday 16 October 2022, 1-4pm.

Apple Day Afternoon with Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith, www.dayscottage.co.uk Upton Lane, Brookthorpe, GL4 0UT.

Mulled apple juice, lovely apple and pear themed cakes, family event, music, heritage fruit to try and buy, rare trees for sale. Buy juice, cider and perry from unsprayed fruit. Now is a chance to chat to Dave and Helen about your orchard/fruit questions. But they do get busy!

Browse their mature and young orchards, bring a picnic. Walk around the Museum Orchard of rare Gloucestershire varieties. Maps available (please return). Signage will be out.

Bring a few representative samples for identification and a small amount (two carrier bags) for juicing at the farm.  Small charge for the latter.  Only a small number of representative samples please!

One way system in operation. Yurt and roundhouse. Forest garden to explore.

They also run a rolling programme of Pruning, Grafting and Bud-Grafting workshops here in  winter and summer. These will be advertised on the Days Cottage and GOT websites.

 

Dave Kaspar identifying apples at his and Helen’s Days Cottage Apple Afternoon in October.

Malvern Autumn Show 23-25th September

National Perry Pear Centre perry pear display at the Malvern Autumn Show by Jim Chapman from Hartpury Orchard Centre. Jim offers a unique perry pear identification service.

 

Jim Chapman will be at the Malvern Autumn Show as usual with his perry pear display.

 

Friday-Sunday 23-25 September 2022 at Three Counties Showground, Malvern.

 

Tim Andrews on BBC Gardeners World!

(Being broadcast mid or late September 2022)

Tim Andrews (Orchard Revival and GOT) filming with his children for BBC Gardeners World.

At the end of August Tim Andrews, Trustee of GOT and cider producer, was filmed for BBC Gardeners World at Pocketts Orchard, Whitminster. He was questioned about his work and passion in restoring traditional orchards near where in lives in the south of the county. Tim exchanges the fruit from these orchards for pruning, replanting and guards to keep these orchards alive.

He helps lead orchard restoration at Pocketts Orchard, Whitminster with the Cotswold Canals Connected project and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and is about to start a new project with the Ernest Cook Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire in orchards at Halmore.

Contact Tim at tim@orchardrevivial.org.uk if you would like to get involved in any of the orchard restoration.

Look out for the interview on Gardeners’ World in mid-September.

Tim did flag up all the relevant organizations, including GOT, but of course only about 5 minutes is used from several hours of filming!

 

Hartpury Orchard Centre Open afternoon, 17th September 2022

Open afternoon at Hartpury Orchard Centre (National Perry Pear Centre)

Saturday 17 September 2022 with perry pear display and refreshments.

There will be more details nearer the time on this website or the Hartpury website. 

The tap bar should be open all summer from noon on Sundays. But check before setting off.

The orchards, wetlands with bird-hide/nature reserve are open all year round.

Bud-grafting Workshop at Days Cottage, Brookthorpe, Thursday 21 July 2022

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Learn the art of propagating fruit trees by inserting a bud of your chosen variety into a rootstock. Take your tree home at the end of the session.

10am-1pm. Access to rare Gloucestershire varieties.

Cost £40.00 including refreshments.

To book (essential) please contact Dave/Helen directly at applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602. More details at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith at Days Cottage Orchard & Rural Skills Centre offer a rolling programme of pruning (winter), grafting (winter) and bud-grafting
(summer) courses as well as a Blossom Day and Apple Day. Check out their website regularly www.dayscottage.co.uk

Bud-Grafting Workshops with Tim Andrews, 12th July and 13th August

Learn how to propagate apple and pear fruit trees by budding, in a practical workshop.

These skills are useful to anyone who wishes to propagate fruit and ornamental trees in their garden or allotment. We discuss the technical theory behind budding to propagate onto a variety of rootstocks and also go through the practical elements step by step, led by GOT’s committee member and Orchard Revival’s Tim Andrews.

Tuesday 12 July 2022 evening – North Nibley chapel

Saturday 13 August 2022 morning – with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at Fromebridge at Pocketts Orchard.

These are run by Tim Andrews in association with Farming in Protected Landscapes/Orchard Revival/GOT.

For these workshops, please book via Tim: tim@orchardrevival.co.uk

Bud-Grafting Workshop at Longney, 9th July 2022

Learn how to propagate apple and pear fruit trees by budding, in a practical workshop.

These skills are useful to anyone who wishes to propagate fruit and ornamental trees in their garden or allotment. We discuss the technical theory behind budding to propagate onto a variety of rootstocks and also go through the practical elements step by step.10am-1pm at the barn, led by GOT’s committee member and Orchard Revival’s Tim Andrews.

Participants will be able to take home their own grafted tree.

Cost £30 (funds will help support Longney Orchard and the charity of GOT).

To book (essential), please contact Ann Smith: ann@smithcovell.co.uk who will advise on payment methods (please pay in advance), directions/parking etc.

You can also pay via this PayPal button:


If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with your details.

For GOT members only. To join, please click here.

A Garden (with Orchards) in Midsummer, 25th June 2022

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An open garden day at Prestberries Cottage, Blackwell’s End, Hartpury,

A rare opportunity to see these orchards near Hartpury Orchard Centre.

Saturday 25th June

2.30pm – 5.30pm Admission £3. In aid of Hartpury Church Bells

  • Plant stall
  • Cakes
  • Produce
  • Garden Bric-a-Brac
  • Teas

A large 3 acre informal country garden to explore with wild areas, orchards, woodland, and some fun architecture!

If looking for ‘Garden immaculate’ look elsewhere ! ! Plenty of stinging nettles, sorry deliberate wildlife areas.

Strong shoes recommended – rabbit scrapes! Sorry – no dogs.

Prestberries Cottage, Blackwell’s End, Hartpury, GL19 3DB

Wolds End Orchard Town Picnic, 3rd July 2022

posted in: orchard, Past Events, picnic | 0

The Campden Society and Friends of Wolds End Orchard are holding a Town Picnic in Wolds Ends Orchard on 3rd July from 12.30pm – 3.30pm

Enjoy music in the orchard on a summer’s afternoon.

Bring your own picnic and something to sit on.

Free event – all welcome!

Please wear stout shoes as the site is uneven. No dogs please.

Wolds End Orchard is at the corner of Austin Road and Back Ends, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6AB.

There is no parking on site, however parking can be found in Campden High School car park, on the High Street, and in Back Ends.

GOT AGM on Saturday 14 May 2022

All members are welcome to join us for our AGM on Saturday 14 May 2022 at Brockworth Community Hall, Court Road, Brockworth GL3 4ET   https://brockworth-pc.gov.uk/

10.30am-11.30am Business and AOB/Question Time to be followed by a walk to/around GOT’s new Henley Bank Orchard.

This will be the first AGM since before the pandemic and will be very informal this year.

We hope to provide coffee but there will probably be no books for sale this time (books for sale on the GOT website bookshop all year round).

No charge for the AGM. Parking is tricky. Spaces are very limited at the community hall itself (and there is a group using our main hall afterwards so please don’t leave cars there after the meeting). The parking outside the local shops is time restricted and patrolled by traffic wardens, so if there is no space at the Community Hall please park a little further up the street.

To visit the orchard at Henley Bank afterwards it is best to move your car rather than walk (it’s about a mile). There is a new gravelled car park on Mill Lane opposite Henley Bank High School where we can park most cars. From there it’s a shortish walk to the orchard along Mill Lane and left up the A46, pavement most of the way, but rough verge for some of the A46 part (unless we cross the road, but we will need to cross back again). Committee members will help guide people to the car park and orchard. There is room for just one car at the orchard gate – we can arrange lifts direct to there from Mill Lane if needed.

Please note that as GOT has only just acquired the orchard it is very overgrown and it is the nesting season until September. The ground is uneven and damp in places. But it is a lovely place and we would be delighted to see you and have a chat about our plans.

GOT acquires Henley Bank Orchard

We are delighted to announce that we have now completed the acquisition of Henley Bank Orchard, at Brockworth.  It has been a long process transferring the ownership from the developers, but is now finalised!

The orchard, adjoining the new developments along Mill Lane Brockworth, is to be managed as a community orchard rather than public open space, and we will be working up plans for management and access soon.

The 2.5 acres (1 hectare) site, with many mature perry pears, is very overgrown at present so we are not encouraging visitors at all yet, but will be taking members there after our AGM in Brockworth on 14th May.

The pictures below were taken in March 2021.

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The sheep return to Longney

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Stuart Smith writes to say: that the sheep have returned to the orchard after spending winter at home on the farm. The lambs are a few weeks old, so not at the leaping for joy stage, but seemed to be enjoying the grass and the sun on their backs. Studies have shown that sheep recognise human faces, and this one seems to know our volunteer from last year!

If you leave the track in Long Tyning, you can walk beneath a canopy of apple blossom. The most common varieties here are Bramley’s Seedling and Newton Wonder – both cookers.

Joan Morgan says that when apple trees began to be included in formal gardens by the Victorians, and the blossom came to be valued as much as the fruit, “some of the grandest spring displays were to be found on the prolific cookers”.

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Plum Tree Pruning Workshops at Longney Orchard on 9th, 17th and 30th May 2022

Martin Hayes is leading a series of informal pruning workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn).
These are for GOT members only. Cost is £10 per head.

Please book one session (booking essential) through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk who can advise on payment methods.

(all fully booked now)

If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with details of which session you’re booking.

Dates are

  • Monday 9 May 2022 at 12-3.30pm (large trees)
  • Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 9.30-1pm (young trees)
  • Monday 30 May 2022 at 12-3.30pm (young trees)

Once booked, Ann will send you further details including directions. Please note there is no vehicular access to the orchards from the road.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves, boots and refreshments.

Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit is only pruned between May and September to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

 

We look forward to seeing you! If you are not a member and would like to attend, please join GOT at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/

If you are a community orchard group you get a year’s free membership. Please enquire via Ann.

Orchard Blossom Day – a new annual celebration

Our friends at the UK Orchard Network have recently announced that they have a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help launch a new annual celebration – Orchard Blossom Day.

This will be:

An annual celebration of fruit trees, flowers and food. See buzzing pollinators, eat and drink tasty orchard products, and enjoy the fresh spring air

Few British sights are as uplifting or evocative as fruit tree boughs heavy with spring blossom, and nowhere is this more in evidence than in orchards. Partly man-made and partly natural, orchards are a meeting point of both worlds.

The Orchard Network are launching a new annual celebration called Orchard Blossom Day. Sites across the country will host events with activities like tours, produce fairs, picnics and practical crafts.

The ‘day’ is set as the last Friday in April, this year the 29th, but events can be throughout the blossom season. There are events taking place across Europe centred on the same date.

UK Orchard Network are inviting orchard groups and enthusiasts people to arrange orchard blossom events orchards – which can be promoted as part of the new venture

Blossom events will be publicised on social media channels, so do get in touch with Orchard Network and let them know what you’re doing.

@UK_Orch_Network

#OrchardBlossomDay

#OrchardsEverywhere

#BlossomWatch

Instagram: UK_Orchard_Network

More information is available at https://ptes.org/campaigns/traditional-orchard-project/orchard-network/orchard-blossom-day/

Blossom Afternoon at Days Cottage, Sunday 24th April 2022

Blossom Afternoon at Days Cottage Orchard & Rural Skills Centre, Sunday 24th April 2022 1.00pm-4.00pm

Brookthorpe near Gloucester dayscottage.co.uk

Come and enjoy our orchards in blossom – picnic under the trees and immerse yourself in the fragrance of apple blossom. Help us celebrate springtime in our traditional orchards and their biodiversity.

Apple juice, cider, perry, orchard honey and trees for sale. Hot spiced apple juice and home made cakes. Orchard information and live music.

Limited parking in field.

Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith are very knowledgeable about orchards, so full of advice!

Growing and Training Fruit in Small Spaces course, Thursday 18 August 2022

At Sue Gibson School of Gardening, May Cottage, Slimbridge.

Growing and Training Fruit in Small Spaces course on Thursday 18 August 2022.

Cost £75 including lunch (10% discount to GOT members).

Sue Gibson School of Gardening. https://www.iteachgardening.co.uk/

For details/to book email: info@iteachgardening.co.uk

The mason bee season opens at Longney!

The mason bees are back at Longney.

Stuart Smith writes that the advice from the BeeGuardian project was to put the red mason bee cocoons in their release boxes as soon as they arrive.
They came on 31st March and were in place the same afternoon!

 

On the right-hand side of the tree guard is a nest tube holder, already stocked with a dozen cardboard nest tubes.

Blossom at Longney

Stuart Smith spotted this beautiful blossom in Bollow Orchard at Longney while preparing for the arrival of the red mason bee cocoons at the end of March.

 

This particular tree is a unique perry pear, meaning that its DNA fingerprint does not match any other perry pear in the National Collection at Hartpury.

 

Jim Chapman says this suggests that just the seedling rootstock remains and the grafted perry variety has died – but at least it makes a lovely show!

 

 

2022 DNA fingerprinting scheme for apples, pears and cherries launched

The DNA Fingerprinting Scheme for apples, pears and cherries in 2022 (the 7th year of the scheme) has been launched, and is open to anyone who wants their fruit tree to be fingerprinted.

The scheme is run with NIAB-EMR at East Malling in Kent providing DNA analysis through their laboratory and submissions co-ordinated by Peter Laws of fruitID.com.

The charge will be £27.60 plus VAT per sample.

if you have an apple, pear or cherry tree that you would like to be fingerprinted, and identified if it matches the fingerprint of a known cultivar, you will first need to complete a sample bag request form and return it to Peter Laws as soon as you can. Bags will be sent out in May and June.  No money is required at this stage.

Samples need to be submitted from mid-May to the end of June.  There are details of scheme and the sample bag request form on the help page of fruitID.com, https://www.fruitid.com/index.html#help

Or you can access the relevant documents directly with the links below:

Grafting Workshop, 14th March at 6.30pm, Hazleton Village Hall

Grafting Workshop, 14th March 2022 6.30pm – 9pm at Hazleton Village Hall, GL54 4DX

£20 per person

Learn to graft fruit trees in this practical , hands-on session.

Lead by experts from Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, participants will learn the theory, before putting it in to practice on their very
own tree, that can be taken home to the garden.

All tools and tree provided.

For further information contact Martin Hayes via martin@glosorchards.org or on 07900985679

Supported by Farming in Protected Landscapes funding.

News and events from Hartpury Orchard Centre

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Hartpury Orchard Centre has recently launched a new Facebook Group called Orchard Watch which invites all visitors to record the flora and fauna seen on their visit. If you join this group you will see regular updates and invitations to events such as Bioblitzes, Moth Nights, Bird Mornings and other family friendly occasions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/939594460324806

Forthcoming events at the Centre include:

  • Sunday 24 April 2022 Blossom Day event – this will be a low key affair – just tap bar open from noon, but you can still walk around the orchard and down to the wetland/bird hide. https://www.nationalperrypearcentre.org.uk/
  • Sunday 1 May 2022 Dawn Chorus Walk 5.00 am followed by Breakfast at Orchard Centre
  • Sunday 22 May 2022 Rogation Church Service in orchard (note: the Tap-Bar will also be open)
  • Saturday/Sunday 11/12 June 2022 Moth night – all to be revealed over breakfast at Orchard Centre on the Sunday morning (weather dependent)

Plus there are Cider & Perry Courses with Peter Mitchell at the Centre.

https://www.cider-academy.co.uk/uk-courses/

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend, 30th April-2nd May, Chipping Campden

Wolds End Orchard Blossom Weekend is not far away!  Join the Wolds End orchard volunteers over the spring bank holiday weekend from Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May to mark the start of this year’s growing season.

Come and enjoy what we hope will be a breath-taking pink and white mosaic across our 94 fruit trees, sitting within nearly three acres of ridge and furrow landscape on the edge of historic Chipping Campden.

In Japan, spring blossom is celebrated with the traditional custom of Hanami, which means ‘flower viewing’ and is an opportunity to take in the beauty of flowers. It’s a practice of restoration, an invitation to connect with plants and the soil; time to give yourself space to breathe, go slowly, walk mindfully and just be in the moment.

From late March to mid May the blossoms of apple, pear, plum, walnut and quince burst onto the scene: expect to enjoy everything from gossamer white through soft pinks and onto deep vermillion.

It’s not just about the fruit trees. We also have a ‘Shadow Orchard’ in the form of boundary hedges where you’ll also spot a variety of blossom including hawthorn, blackthorn, elder and wild damson as well as pussy willow catkins and maybe even some early wild rose.

The National Trust has a great Blossom Activity Pack on its website as part of it’s #BlossomWeekend activities.

The gate will open from 10.30am-4pm each day. Everyone is welcome – just pop in and have a wander around.

Note: the orchard is very uneven underfoot so ensure you wear appropriate footwear. Also, no dogs please as the orchard is a nature reserve as well as a working orchard.

Address:  entrance on corner of Aston Road and Back Ends, GL55 6AB. Parking: in the High Street, Campden School Car Park or public parking bays on Back Ends – no parking on site. 

A busy winter for Tim

Tim Andrews is always busy.  A dad of two, teacher, GOT committee member and owner of Orchard Revival Cider, it is not hard to fill every spare minute. Below is his summary of orchard activities so far this winter!

Pocketts Orchard, WhitminsterWe have continued to work with Cotswold Canals Connected to look after and restore the traditional orchard at Whitminster next to the canal. A particular highlight was the talk given by Jonathan Briggs, a previous GOT chair, about mistletoe. Nearly all the old trees have their yearly prune and we have cleared quite a bit of excess brambles. We await the results of the DNA testing that took place in the autumn and we hope to do some more grafting at the start of March. There is a lot planned in the summer such as fencing and building a field shelter which should allow us to control the grazing better. Work parties are held on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Please contact Peter Savage peter.savage@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk if you’d like to join us.

Tree plantingWe managed to squeeze in some more tree planting on our own land this winter. Another 24 takes us to 358 trees and 131 varieties all on full standard root stocks. Being well watered in the first year of planting we have only lost 1 tree! However, there was little growth due to the dry summer we had last year and also because I hadn’t mulched enough. There is never enough time to do it all! We have also led the creation of a new community orchard at the Ionian, a wood fired pizza restaurant on the A38 near Berkeley. We donated the trees, led the planting session and the Ionian is providing the land and paying for the guards. The pizza, cake and coffee provided certainly energised the volunteers.

PruningOnly a couple of orchards beyond Pocketts orchard managed to get pruned this year. These were a lovely old cider orchard in Halmore and a small orchard in North Nibley. I would have liked to have done more, but my teaching job gets in the way!

Bird boxesThe best bit about being a teacher is the children. This year a group of students in my year group were really keen to do something to improve the environment at my school Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School. So we held a raffle and have raised enough money to buy the materials for 4 blue tit nesting boxes, 1 kestrel box, 14 swift boxes and a sound system to attract the swifts. The students’ next job is constructing the boxes and erecting them on the school site. I am also working with a bird expert in our village, Peter Kirmond. We are hoping to turn North Nibley into a swift hub by erecting lots of swift nesting boxes. For each bottle or pint of our Save Our Swift cider we donate 20p towards the cause.

GraftingWe are also running a number of grafting workshops thanks to a Farming in Protected Landscapes grant. Martin Hayes and David Lindgren, our joint GOT chairs, will be on hand to help to. We’ll be at North Nibley on 1st March, Avening on 8th March and Hazleton on the 14th March. Email Martin if you are interested in attending martin@glosorchards.org.

Tim Andrews  https://orchardrevival.co.uk/

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Grafting courses at Days Cottage, March 6th and 17th 2022

Days Cottage are running two grafting courses in March:

– Sunday 6th March 10.00am – 1.00pm
– Thursday 17th March 10.00am – 1.00pm

Learn the skill of propagating fruit trees by inserting a scion of your chosen variety into a rootstock.

Take your tree home at the end of the session.

Booking essential.

Cost £40.00

To book please contact applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602

More info at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

Grafting Workshop at Avening, 9th March 2022

Grafting Workshop at Avening Village Hall, High Street, GL6 9BE on 9th March 2022 6pm – 9pm

Cost: £20 per person

Learn to graft fruit trees in this practical, hands-on session.

Lead by experts from Gloucestershire Orchard Trust, participants will learn the theory, before putting it in to practice on their very own tree, that can be taken home to the garden.

All tools and tree provided.

 

For further information contact Martin Hayes via martin@glosorchards.org or on 07900985679

Supported by Farming in Protected Landscapes funding.

Perry Pear Planting at Boyce Court, Dymock

Our committee co-chair David Lindgren and incoming treasurer Andy Ellis were out last month planting some replacement perry pears at Boyce Court, near Dymock.

There’s a long-established avenue of pear trees there, on the drive leading to the house.  These trees, several hundred years old, are well-known (in the perry pear world) as they feature in the 1963 book Perry Pears by L C Luckwill and A Pollard.

The illustration in the book shows a healthy avenue of trees but now, 60 or so years later, many have gone and most of the survivors are decaying or dead.  Some are still productive though, and David has used the fruit for a limited edition Perry called “The Avenue”.

David and Andy’s efforts, planting some Thorn perry pears (one of the old varieties originally planted in the avenue), will help reverse the decline and keep the tradition of the avenue going.

For more pictures see below and for information on the site and varieties do visit David’s blog about it at https://www.bushelpeck.co.uk/news-and-natter/2022/1/29/z42onimf0bkf10brye6296cphdoekv 

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Grafting Workshop at North Nibley, 1st March 2022

Come along to a Grafting Workshop at North Nibley, 6.30pm to 9pm on 1st March 2022 at North Nibley Chapel, Barrs Lane GL11 6DT.

Cost £20 per person.

Learn to graft fruit trees in this practical hands-on session led by experts from the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.

Participants will learn the theory before putting it into practice on their very own tree, that can be taken home to plant in the garden.

All tools and trees provided.

For further information contact Martin Hayes via martin@glosorchards.org or on 07900985679

Supported by Farming in Protected Landscapes funding.

Tree Planting at the Ionian Farmshop, Berkeley 19th Feb 2022

The Ionian Farmshop and Kitchen on the A38 near Berkeley have a tree planting event on 19th February to design and make your community orchard.  With our own Tim Andrews to show them how.

They say:

“Give back and volunteer at The Ionian as we embark on our ambition to design and make your community orchard! Aiming to provide vital green space where you can interact with nature have space to learn skills such as planting, pruning and grafting. We can all do our bit in the battle against climate change, help wildlife and our own well being!
We’ll be collaborating with the amazing Tim Andrews who will share his knowledge with us on reviving traditional orchards. We need as many volunteers as possible for this project, any help will very much appreciated. To get involved, please email theionian.a38@gmail.com.  We are so proud to attract and make people from all walks of life and every background feel welcome at The Ionian, we encourage you to roll up your sleeves, lets work together on creating a sustainable future! ”

 

Traditional Orchard for sale near Hereford

This is, as we understand it, an historic orchard planted in the 1930s for Bulmers.

It is a traditional mixed variety orchard, and a perfect opportunity for an orchard enthusiast/group to restore and conserve

Selling Agent is Sunderlands. Their opening description is below:

Traditional orchard next to Adams Hill, Breinton, Hereford, HR4 7PB.

Summary of features:

– Approx. 2.53 acres (1.024 ha)
– Good roadside access
– Traditional cider orchard
– For sale by Informal Tender

Offers to be received by 17 February 2022

Fruit tree pruning at Days Cottage: 6th and 10th February 2022

Days Cottage are running two pruning courses in February:

– Sunday 6th February 10.00am – 1.00pm
– Thursday 10th February 10.00am – 1.00pm

Booking essential.

Learn to prune fruit trees of all ages. Hands-on training that demystifies those gardening book diagrams!

Create shapely, productive trees.

Cost £35.00

To book please contact applejuice@dayscottage.co.uk or 01452 813602

More info at http://dayscottage.co.uk/courses

Murmurations at Hartpury Orchard Centre

 

There have been some spectacular Starling murmurations at Hartpury Orchard Centre in the last week or so.

 

These take place over the wetlands adjoining the orchards before the starlings came down to roost in the reeds

 

This is a very satisfying habitat success story – 15 years ago the area was an arable field with no ponds.

 

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Longney Pruning Workshops, February and March 2022

Update:  Sorry, 14th March workshop is now fully booked and 7th March workshop has been cancelled.

Martin Hayes is leading a series of informal pruning workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn).

These are for GOT members only.   Cost will be £10 per head.

Please book one session (booking essential) through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk who can advise on payment methods.  You can also pay via this PayPal button:


If you pay by PayPal please also email Ann with details of which session you’re booking.

Dates: Mondays 14 February, 7 March, 14 March.  Noon-3pm

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

We look forward to seeing you! If you are not a member and would like to attend, please join GOT at https://glosorchards.org/home/join-us-got-membership/

If you are a community orchard group you get a year’s free membership. Please enquire via Ann.

 

 

New Traditional Orchard at Wallsworth Hall- fruitful collaboration in action!

Wallsworth Hall, an imposing C18 house, just north of Gloucester at Twigworth, is home to one of the UK’s most important national charities promoting conservation through the medium of art – in all its many forms. Established in 1988, Nature in Art (N in A) is now a unique centre, with an expanding membership and visitor base.  It is dedicated, among other aims, to show how the visual and aesthetic qualities of art can help support ecology and encourage participation in realising common objectives.

The large garden area surrounding Wallsworth Hall provides space for many sculptures and a site for a busy Education Centre with outreach work with schools, art groups and visiting artists in residence. The garden is also very popular with visitors, with circular walks and picnic places, and it has an excellent range of wildlife. However, the far end of the garden had been left largely untouched and had become overgrown and inaccessible.  N in A’s Trustees decided to restore this area – of around a 1/4 acre – by establishing a small orchard of local varieties of apples to supplement some older fruit trees around the partially walled boundary.

Following enquiries from N in A’s staff, contact with the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust (GOT) was made which led to discussions on how plans for the new orchard could be made and put in train. GOT (and N in A) member Keith Turner agreed to collaborate with N in A Director Simon Trapnell and the Education Officer Catherine Bunn in drawing up practical plans. These included using N in A volunteers first, to clear, by hand, the area of its jungle of briars, nettles and invasive elder; and then to prepare the new area for planting up to 15 fruit trees, mainly apples. The emphasis would be on heritage varieties – a mixture of culinary, cider and dessert types, which would be sourced from GOT member Rob Watkins’ Lodge Farm Trees nursery near Berkeley.  A mix of native grass and wildflower seed will be broadcast under the trees to augment the existing flora and so form a natural sward under the trees for wildlife conservation, especially habitat for bees, butterflies and moths.

Sufficient ground was ready by autumn 2019 for the first trees to be planted, but continued wet conditions delayed planting until early 2020. These trees soon established and made good growth in 2020. Meanwhile, the remainder of the area was prepared for clearing and planting which took place the following winter.  Consisting of grafts on M25, MM106 and MM111 rootstocks, all were local Gloucestershire or regional Three Counties varieties/cultivars. Examples include Ashmeads Kernel, Longney Russet, Arlingham Schoolboy, Yellow Willy etc.  One perry pear has also been included in the mix for a special spot in the new orchard.

The plantings were completed in early 2021 with a total of 16 trees well established, but leaving a legacy of further work by N in A volunteers to maintain the new orchard over the next few years. There was, very likely, an earlier orchard at Wallsworth Hall which would have provided fruit for the house and its residents. So it’s very satisfying that the new trees will restore these links and again be part of the future history of this lovely house.

Keith Turner  6/1/22

More information on Nature in Art: Located at Twigworth off the A38, near Gloucester GL2 9PA.  https://natureinart.org.uk/

Government Cider Tax Consultation – a risk to Traditional Orchards

This has been a hot topic in the cider and perry community since the budget and has caused understandable anxiety for smaller scale producers.

The issue is whether there will be changes to the existing 70hL (7000l) cider exemption from taxation.  This tax relief has helped conserve orchards, encourage small cider and perry makers (and has saved HMRC a great deal of administration!).

Any changes to that exemption could make small scale production uneconomic – which would have knock-on effects for traditional orchards.

Several GOT committee members who make cider and perry have lobbied their MPs to urge them to keep the system unchanged (ie tax low and paperwork simple).

The Government has issued a consultation paper – with responses required this month (January 2022).

GOT intends lobbying on behalf of cider producers and for the well-being of traditional orchards.

If you are able to write to your MP or complete the consultation, please let us know.

Do note that the consultation, as it stands, advocates no change to the current cut-off and a streamlining of the ‘cliff-edge’ if/when small producers pass the cut-off – see wording from paragraph 4.37 in the consultation (reproduced below).  This is encouraging but isn’t definite, and the proposals are complex, so this shouldn’t put people off writing in to support the status quo and express their views on changes. We need to maximise support for this.

4.37 The Government intends this to build on and not replace the existing exemption for small cidermakers, as the transition at 70hL has been identified as an impediment to growth. Small cidermakers below this level will continue to be exempt from the requirement to register and therefore pay no excise duty. However, once cidermakers exceed this level, the Government proposes to give them a full rebate of the excise duty that would have otherwise been payable, to remove the existing distortionary ‘cliff-edge’. This rebate will only be available to cidermakers who produce less than the maximum threshold for the small producer relief as a whole.

The consultation deadline is 30 January 2022.  Do let us know if you need any advice on what it all means and what should be said!

The consultation webpage, with details of how to respond, is at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-new-alcohol-duty-system-consultation

Direct link to the consultation document is https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1028702/20211026_Alcohol_Duty_Review_Consultation_and_CFE_response.pdf

Thank you!

Hartpury OC Wassail CANCELLED

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Sorry, this event has been cancelled due to Covid related issues.

The annual Wassail at the National Perry Pear Centre/Hartpury Orchard Centre.

Friday 21 January 2022, from 7pm depending on what is permitted.

We are advising folks to check our website on the day, in case it is called off.

Obviously we don’t now know if we will be serving food, but will if we can.

More information will be posted at https://www.hartpuryheritage.org.uk/events/

Pruning workshop December 2021

Eight GOT members attended Martin Hayes’ pruning workshop at GOT’s Longney orchard on Thursday 16th December 2021.

There was time to discuss members’ individual orchard queries and to learn about a range of issues including planting, rootstocks and guarding trees.

Trust Juice and cider was available to purchase.

The resident pheasant kept an eye on the proceedings from a safe distance from Martin’s dog!

Photos kindly taken by Jacquie Sarsby.

 

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Orchard Learning Programme blooms again in 2022 – Horfield Organic Community Orchard

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This hands-on and holistic 9 month course is designed to deepen the knowledge and sharpen the skills of those involved in the close care of fruit trees and orchards.

Participants are guided through a growing season and partnered up with a couple of ‘Tree Buddies’ from March to October. The blend of group learning days and one-to-one sessions is another special feature.

All sessions take place in the richly diverse out door learning environment of Horfield Organic Community Orchard in Bristol. Some previous fruit growing experience is needed.

The Orchard Learning Programme is ideal for those involved with community orchards, food growing projects or enterprises with a large number of fruit trees, professional gardeners, and keen amateur gardeners.

Deadline for applications is Friday 28 January 2022.

More information, course outline, fees, and dates on the HOCO website.

Contact: hocopips@gmail.com or phone 0117 373 1587

Martin visits Rockness Orchard

Martin Hayes, our advice-giving orchardist, reports on a recent visit to Rockness Orchard, a long-established community orchard GOT has recently become involved with:

A great day at Rockness Community Orchard ‘Stan’s Patch’.

The Gloucestershire Orchard Trust recently took the Orchard under its wings and a great partnership is ahead!

Fabulous cakes and biscuits with tea.

An orchardist’s life is tough!

And some appreciative feedback:

Defra announcement about the new Farming Investment Fund

An interesting piece of kit apparently available via the fund!  It’s a Fruit Ripeness Spectrometer – “Handheld device for use in orchards to determine produce quality and harvest timing. Uses NIR (Near Infra-Red) to determine and measure DM (Dry Matter), total soluble solids, titratable acidity, and colour to determine ripeness”  Probably not designed for our mixed variety traditional orchards!

Defra has recently launched the new Farming Investment Fund.

Much of it looks beyond the scope of your average orchard grower, but there are some things like electric fencing that might be useful.

 

This is the wording from their announcement:

We are very pleased to let you know that Defra has launched today, Tuesday 16th November, the new Farming Investment Fund which will offer funding for equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment.

This fund will provide grants to farmers, foresters and growers (including contractors to these sectors) helping them to focus on more efficient production methods that will reduce resource costs, improve yields, and give them a better return. It will also support farmers who want to process and add value to their existing products, create new products, or sell their produce directly to consumers. 

The Farming Investment Fund offers funding for both smaller investments - The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and for larger investments – The Farming Transformation Fund. Today, we are opening applications for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and for grants focused on the Water Management theme of the Farming Transformation Fund, which is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow, irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries.  Additional grants and themes will be made available as part of this fund in the future.

Please read our blog post and our press release to find more information about the available grants. For more background information we have a key messages document (available here). 

The Funds will open to applicants on Tuesday 16 November. The application deadline for the Farming, Equipment and Technology Fund will be 12:00 noon on 7th January 2022. The online checker for the Farming Transformation Fund will run until 12th January 2022, with the full application deadline on the 30th June 2022. 

Longney Apple Pruning and Orchard Maintenance Workshop 16th December 2021

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Martin Hayes is leading workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn) 10am-3pm or whatever time you can spare. Pandemic permitting.

No charge for GOT members. More details will be sent later to those who are interested. The morning session will either be pruning medium sized trees (no ladders) or helping to maintain the trees in other ways.

Then switch over in the afternoon.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Thank you! Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

Please book through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk

Places will be limited. We look forward to seeing you!

There is another workshop on 11th January next year.

Apple Grafting Workshop 19th February 2022

At Winterbourne Medieval Barn, Bristol, BS36 1SE

Booking essential – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/bristol/winterbourne-medieval-barn/apple-grafting-workshop/e-kvdqjb

Come and learn how to graft apple trees on this course under the tuition of Ben Raskin, a previous commercial fruit grower and an enthusiastic, effective and very knowledgeable teacher, now Head of Horticulture at The Soil Association.

Grafting is the process of propagating new trees. You take the scion wood which is a twig from a variety of apple tree that you like, and then fuse it to the rootstock. The rootstock is the branch or stem of another tree which has been selected for size, or tolerance of certain soil conditions. This way you can clone fruit varieties, guaranteeing that the fruit on the tree is as tasty as you want it to be!

You will learn why we graft, how to graft and put these skills into practice by forming at least three grafts that you can take away at the end of the day.

Everybody who has provided feed back from previous course has rated the course as excellent. Here are some quotes from previous attendees:
‘Learning a new skill that I feel confident I can use independently and that I came away with 4 trees that I have made’
‘Excellent information. Good guidance. Friendly and fun.’
‘Hands on, great support and encouragement throughout, taking part in an ancient practice.’
‘Friendly, no previous knowledge/experience required. Time for everyone, un-rushed and relaxed.’

We will provide some common varieties for grafting. If you have a favourite that you wish to propagate, then bring your own wood to graft. If there is a particular variety that you wish to graft but do not have the wood, please let us know and we will attempt to procure some wood for you. The only equipment you will need to bring is a very sharp knife (e.g. a Stanley Knife) and some secateurs.

Cost £45, tea coffee and biscuits will be provided, please bring your own lunch.

If you have any questions about this workshop, please contact Robert on 0117 957 4921.

Booking essential – https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/bristol/winterbourne-medieval-barn/apple-grafting-workshop/e-kvdqjb

Happy Apple Day!

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Happy Apple Day!

National Apple Day, October 21st, was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. Their aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.

The concept has become incredibly successful over the 30 years since – with events taking place all over the country organised by local orchard and apple groups, across a range of dates throughout October.

Here in Gloucestershire there are many Apple Day themed events, some in the last few weeks, some in the next few weeks.  Have a look at the events section of our website to find an events near you.

https://www.commonground.org.uk/apple-day/

Leonard Stanley Community Orchard Apple Day 17th October 2021

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12 to 5pm, in the churchyard of St Swithuns, Leonard Stanley.  Free entry.
If you haven’t experienced an apple day before, its great fun for all ages and you don’t need to bring your own apples, but you can press them if you bring them.
We will have collected some apples from local orchards for people to have a go.
Please bring receptacles to take home your juice.
If you have suitable plastic containers (milk or soda bottles you will be able to freeze it too).
One trug full of apples produces 9-14 litres of juice.

Folk of Gloucester Apple Day 23rd October 2021

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10 am – 4 pm.

The Folk of Gloucester’s Annual Celebration of Apples and Cider making in Gloucestershire with over 30 apples found exclusively in Gloucestershire.

There will be a range of ciders to try and buy from Severn Cider. The cider mill will be open today.

Lassington Oak will be giving an insight in to Morris Dancing with Folk music playing throughout the building.

Orchard talk by Martin Hayes of Gloucestershire Orchard Trust.

The café will be open and there will be children’s activities throughout the day.

Free entry to all.  Details at https://www.gloucestercivictrust.org/the-folk/

Cotswold Canals Apple Appreciation Day, 21st October 2021

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Please join Cotswold Canals Trust to raise a jar or two for Gloucestershire’s Canalside Orchard

And to raise funds for the planting of 4km of sustainable hedgerows along the canal corridor. 🍺🌱

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire and Berkeley Vale CPRE have joined forces with Cotswold Canals Connected to sponsor 1km of hedgerow. This event will support the ongoing fundraising for the project.
What to expect from the event 👇
🍎 Cider tasting along with locally produced cheese. Kindly supported by Tim Andrews and Orchard Revival and Severn Cider
🍎 Talk to experts and hear first hand about the great work in orchard revival in Gloucestershire
🍎 Sponsor your very own Family Tree and be part of the regeneration of ancient Gloucestershire varieties
🍎 Meet local producers and be inspired by this county we call home.
Tickets cost £10pp and all funds raised will go towards the Cotswold Canals Connected Phase 1B biodiversity and Natural Environment project. 🌍

Winterbourne Medieval Barn Orchard Harvest Day, 10th October 2021

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Winterbourne Barn’s annual Orchard Harvest Day is back!  11am – 4pm on 10th October.

Visit the amazing Winterbourne Medieval Barn for a fun day out for all the family.

Celebrate the Great British Orchard with apple displays, and experts on hand to identify apple varieties. Enjoy entertainment from Terry Moules ferret-racing, and live music from Bygonz – music from a bygone age, and the Frampton Shantymen (among others). We’ll have a variety of artisan crafts traders and stalls from local groups. Plus plenty of kids activities throughout the day!

We’ll be serving locally sourced high quality food and drink all day.

A great day out with something for all ages!

Pre book tickets now! £5 adults, £1 children

Full details are at http://www.winterbournebarn.org.uk/event/orchard-harvest-day/

Drawing in the Orchard, 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th September

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Learn to draw in the beautiful, open air setting of Days Cottage Orchard, with experienced artist Liz Lancashire.

Four creative, relaxed sessions suitable for absolute beginners, with a chance to try new materials and different approaches to drawing.

Tuesdays 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th September, 2 – 4pm, £50.

Shelter provided in wet weather.

Call Liz on 07407 115043 to book your place, or contact liz@lancashirepillow.co.uk.

Big Apple Harvestime, Much Marcle, 9th and 10th October

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From our friends at big Apple:

We’re delighted to announce that we are going ahead with Harvestime this year over the weekend of 9/10th October.  All the usual venues in and around Much Marcle will be involved – in fact, they can’t wait to get back to welcoming visitors.

We look forward to welcoming you to any (or all) of our nine venues, all of which are free to visit.  They are relatively close to each other and shown on the location map. However, some special events require advance booking as places are limited and we have to keep a careful control on numbers.  Booking for these events will open at 9.00am on Friday 17th September.

There will be lots of opportunities to enjoy the local orchards, see, hear and smell cider being made and taste many different varieties of apples, local ciders, perries and apple juices.

Most of the activities take place in the open air.  For those events taking place indoors (eg talks in The Haywain), please be prepared to wear a face covering.  For these indoor venues we will ensure there is effective ventilation.

We are still fine-tuning the activities so some of the events may change – please keep checking the website (link below).

Harvestime 9th-10th October, 2021

Days Cottage Apple Day 17th October 2021

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Dave Kaspar and Helen Brent-Smith hope to have their usual Apple Day Afternoon from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday 17th October 2021.
www.dayscottage.co.uk Upton Lane, Brookthorpe, GL4 0UT.

Check their or GOTs website nearer the time. Covid restrictions permitting.

Bring a few representative samples for identification and a small amount (two carrier bags) for juicing at the farm. Small charge for the latter.

Mulled apple juice, lovely apple and pear themed cakes, family event, music, heritage fruit to try and buy, rare trees for sale. Buy juice, cider and perry from unsprayed fruit.
Now is a chance to chat to Dave and Helen about your orchard/fruit questions. But they do get busy!

Browse their mature and young orchards, bring a picnic. Walk around the Museum Orchard of rare Gloucestershire varieties. Maps available (please return).

Signage will be out. One way system in operation. Yurt and roundhouse. Forest garden to explore.

Hartpury Orchard Centre/National Perry Pear Centre Open Afternoon 19th September

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Hartpury Orchard Centre/National Perry Pear Centre Open Afternoon (covid permitting)

Sunday 19th September 2021 2-5pm

with perry tasting, teas, probably cider/perry competition and perry pear display (80 varieties possible) and identification, books, leaflets and orchard gifts for sale.
https://www.hartpuryheritage.org.uk/events/annual-events/

For perry pear identification information see https://glosorchards.org/home/fruitvarieties/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/01/NationalPerryPearCentre_ID_Notes.pdf

Apple Day at Wolds End Orchard, Chipping Campden 23rd October 2021

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Saturday 23 October 10.30am – 4pm

Come to the Orchard and meet some of the “Orchardeers” caring for this 3 acre Traditional Orchard in Chipping Campden.

 

Since last November The Campden Society and The Friends of Wolds End Orchard have been working together to conserve this beautiful corner of glorious Chipping Campden.

 

We have 90 trees with eating, cider and cooking varieties as well as Perry and culinary pears, plus a few plums and young quince.

 

You will have a chance to wander around the veteran, mature and young trees, and learn about what we have done this year – as well as our plans for the future. We will also have some local apple juice for sale on the day.

 

Please email campdensociety20@gmail.com or foweo@gmail.com for more information.

 

Location: entrance corner of Aston Road and Back Ends, Chipping Campden, Glos GL55 6HR.

 

No parking on site – free parking at weekends available at the High School (a few minutes walk away, off Cider Mill Lane) or on Back Ends or the High Street.

 

Website: www.thecampdensociety.org/

Longney Apple Pruning and Orchard Maintenance Workshop 11th January 2022

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Martin Hayes is leading workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchard (south of Gloucester by the River Severn) 10am-3pm or whatever time you can spare. Pandemic permitting.

No charge for GOT members. More details will be sent later to those who are interested. The morning session will either be pruning medium sized trees (no ladders) or helping to maintain the trees in other ways.

Then switch over in the afternoon.

Martin will go through Health and Safety and we would need everyone to sign in with an emergency contact phone number please. Bring own tools, gloves and boots. Thank you! Martin is very knowledgeable and there’s always something to learn and share. Stone fruit will not be pruned – only May to September on dry days for plums and cherries to reduce the chance of silver leaf disease.

Please book through Ann Smith ann@smithcovell.co.uk

Places will be limited. We look forward to seeing you!

 

News from Longney

Updates on the latest at our Longney orchards where we have new fencing, plus improved plumbing and water troughs.  And some new signage too. These would have been shown to everyone at our open day but unfortunately that was cancelled.  Sorry to all those disappointed but we hope these pictures will show some of the changes and, if you’re visiting, explain what’s what.

The latest works have been carried out for us by our neighbour Roger Godwin, whose farm team (Henry plus others) fitted in the works before harvest time. We had several long-standing issues to resolve, mainly improving plumbing to each of the four orchards and installing new fencing at the barn compound to reduce the chance of sheep getting in accidentally.

As a result we now have working, and plumbed in, water troughs in all the orchards (only two were plumbed in before) with all troughs compliant with current standards. This means the sheep will have a reliable supply wherever they are.

At the barn there is now a new fence isolating the compound from the Bollow/Long Tyning gates, so that livestock can pass freely between those two orchards without accessing the barn area.  This will, we hope, eliminate the occasional problem with sheep in the barn area, which is used for school groups and events.  We don’t want to put off visitors through, so there is a new pedestrian gate into the compound, spring-loaded to help ensure it’s kept shut!

The work by Roger’s team also included laying a water line to the toilet (not yet plumbed in) in case we want to have washing water there and, inside the secure store, a small handwashing basin for use by anyone attending events.

Not forgetting the scraping out of the seasonal pond areas in Middle and Lower orchards.

In addition to all this work we have also been improving some signage, in particular at the Fish House, where there is a new sign explaining the building, and our philosophy on how to manage it.

 

There are more pictures below showing all of these changes.  We are very grateful to Roger G and colleagues for their work on the plumbing and fencing.  And, as usual, Stuart Smith for his continuing work managing the whole area, including the new signs (thanks Juliet Bailey for help with those too) and Ann Smith for coordinating everything.  Pictures are by Ann and Stuart and also Jonathan Briggs.

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CANCELLED Longney Orchard Open Afternoon 12th September

This event is cancelled.

Sunday 12th September 2021 at 12-4pm,

Open to all. We welcome everyone, especially Longney locals, Longney schoolchildren and GOT members/families and volunteers. Browse the progress made with the mature and young orchards of Gloucestershire varieties and display boards. Juice, cider and perry for sale! BBQ but bring a picnic lunch and something to sit on (we have limited benches and chairs), suitable footwear (ground is uneven). There is a composting loo and running cold water. Please bring your own handsanitizer.

The site is part of the Severn Way. The Public Right of Way can be accessed from the white railings in Longney. No vehicular access. Please park at the lower end of Yew Tree Farm or sensibly in the road, being courteous to our neighbours. There are sheep in the orchard so any dogs must be kept on leads and keep gates closed please. We have a first aid kit and one of our committee is first aid trained.

Please check the GOT website glosorchards.org nearer the time for any changes (eg national covid-19 restrictions or bad weather).

We will also celebrate twenty years since GOT was founded.

Berwick Lodge Open Garden 8th & 9th July

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Berwick Lodge (Bristol)  are having Open Garden Days on 8th and 9th July, as part of the National Garden Scheme.

Martin Hayes and David Lindgren of GOT will be there to talk about fruit trees and supplying fruit juices made by Trust Juice and by Bushel & Peck.

The details:

🌷From 12pm – 5pm both days you can come up and enjoy the gardens at Berwick. £5 admission goes to the NGS charity.

🍰 Cream teas available to buy on the day

🌹 Meet our Head Gardener Robert (ex Highgrove) who will be around to chat to you about the gardens

🍎 Find out about what to do with fruit from your fruit trees with Martin from the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust (Thursday only)

TO BOOK: https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/42255

Don’t worry, if the weather isn’t great we have a huge stretch tent in the garden with tables and chairs, to keep you dry 🌞

We look forward to welcoming you!

Longney Pruning Workshop #1

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Thanks to those who helped us with pruning the apple trees at Longney on the first of two workshops by GOT on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

After being shown around the orchards, collections, habitats and barn, twelve keen GOT members and associates were given tuition by orchardist Martin Hayes before having a go themselves.

This week attention was on medium sized apple trees.  Plums are next – on 18th May (https://glosorchards.org/home/blog/2021/04/25/pruning-workshops/)

We are always keen for volunteers to help maintain the orchards, particularly with hand-weeding.

Please get in touch with Ann Smith via the website if interested.

Photos kindly provided by Gabby Davies, David Taylor and Melanie Getgood.

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Grangefield Community Orchard Pruning workshop 22nd May

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Come and improve your orchard skills at this pruning workshop

Expert tuition from Martin Hayes of Gloucestershire Orchard Trust

Saturday 22nd May 11am to 3pm

All are welcome – £5 charge

For more information:

email: transition.cleeve@gmail.com

ring: 01242 244785

facebook: facebook.com/grangefieldcommunityorchard.com

Pruning Workshops: 11th & 18th May 2021

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Martin Hayes is leading two pruning workshops at GOT’s lovely Longney Orchards on

Tuesday 11th May 2021 and Tuesday 18th May 2021 at 10am-3pm (or whatever time you can spare).  Booking essential (see below)

We welcome you even if you just want to come down and enjoy the orchards, take photos or just hear what Martin has to say. There’s always something new to learn or see! We also value any help members/volunteers can give at Longney, but there is no obligation. Anyone who would like to come regularly will also be welcome. We currently have school groups, special needs young people and asylum seekers that Martin oversees on other days.

11th May: Apple pruning

Morning: talk on GOT and orchard tour. Pruning of medium sized trees.

Afternoon: pruning of young trees.

18th May: Plum pruning

Same as above.

Booking:

Please book through Ann Smith on ann@smithcovell.co.uk

No charge! Maximum of 12 places for each day. You may be able to do both workshops.

Please bring:

A packed lunch/tea/coffee/snacks but juice is provided and will also be for sale. We will bring some extra biscuits!

Appropriate weather attire/stout footwear.

There is a barn, tables and chairs if it rains.

Please observe socially distancing, wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer/wipes for yourself, although we will have some. There is also running cold water and a composting toilet.

Martin has some tools but if you can bring gloves and any pruning tools, that would be extremely helpful.

We hope to bring some orchard-related books for sale, so please bring your cheque book (payable to “GOT”) or cash. We intend to let you browse/buy these at the white railings at 10am (too heavy to take the set down to the orchards!)

Health & Safety:

Martin will go through Health & Safety with you, but I will email a Risk Assessment to those who book. Martin is first aid trained and we have a first aid kit.

We will need in advance a list of attendees and emergency phone numbers.

The ground is uneven and there are brambles, nettles and low hanging branches. No climbing of ladders please, as we are not insured for that.

Please pile up any prunings into designated piles, rather than just leaving on the ground as we need to mow. Don’t put into the hedgerow please.

Parking/Meeting:

Please park sensitively near the white railings (near Bow Lane Cottage) at Longney or safely anywhere along the road. There is no vehicular access to the orchards – just continue on foot down the public right of way track at the white railings. The grid ref. for the white railings is SO 7598 1368.

Martin will either meet you at the white railings or just come on down (several hundred yards across arable to the orchards). In wet weather, the track is extremely muddy. First orchard is Long Tyning (long and thin) then Bollow. Also on site are Middle & Lower Orchards which have been planted up with heritage apple and plum trees of regional/national importance. Sorry, no dogs as we have sheep. Please keep gates closed.

Come and see the renovated barn, interpretation signage and enjoy the views and wildlife (we have several species of owls). This is a great opportunity to learn new skills or continue with already acquired skills.

Easter news from Longney

The pears (and the blackthorn and plums) are now in bloom, and we’ll post pictures of some of those soon, but today here are some more general pictures and news, highlighting recent work by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse who visit regularly on Mondays and Wednesday mornings:

Martin Hayes, who supervises the students on site, explains the scarecrows:

Meet Sheila and Madoc, the Orchard Guardians or, their more common name, scarecrows.  These two handsome beasts were made by students from the Apperley Centre in Stonehouse.  They are guarding the wildflower seeds we have planted.  Last years wildflowers were eaten by the sheep that were let in when ramblers left the gates open!!

Other pictures below include the new bug hotel, also built with student help, some general views of hedgerow blossom and, the recently fallen ancient willow pollard, dead for some time but toppled by winter storms:

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Spring! Blossom time in orchards soon.

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Lockdown beginning to relax, and blossom time very soon.  Lots to look forward to.

And there’s blossom already underfoot (careful where you tread!).  Here are some pics of the wild daffodils at Vell Mill Meadow, which is also (since 2011) an orchard, near Dymock.

It’s a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserve, primarily for being one of the best local daffodil meadows (for which the area is famous).

But it’s also perfect for an orchard so GWT planted it up 10 years ago, with wide-spacing to keep the daffodil interest.

There’s a mix of local varieties of apple, pear and plum.

Pears and plums will be flowering very soon…

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New Year, New Revisions to the local varieties lists

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Jim Chapman has sent another revision of local apple varieties based on the results of the national DNA work.

 

The main changes for Gloucestershire in this update relate to the varieties Hagloe Crab and Pride of the Orchard which are identical, genetically-speaking, to the varieties Tupstones and Brithmawr (respectively).

 

For full information have a look at the updated summary document on our website here – but do note that this is not an easy read (and it helps if you have a copy of the original Gloucestershire Apples book!).

The Gloucestershire Cider Box for Christmas

If you’re looking for an unusual, tasty (and educational) gift to give this Christmas why not support some of our local orchards and buy the Gloucestershire Cider Box?  This is available from our friends at Bushel & Peck (run by David Lindgren, based in Winchcombe) and Orchard Revival (run by Tim Andrews, based in North Nibley).

About the case:

12 bottles of Gloucestershire cider and perry ciders from 6 Gloucestershire based cider-makers.  All are real, full juice ciders, a showcase of the quality and diversity of cider that’s available Gloucestershire, covering different styles of cider, with different fruit varieties from different locations.

A tutored tasting with The Ciderologist:

The case comes with links to an online tutored tasting with Gabe Cook, the Ciderologist. The case has two bottles of each cider, one you can drink during the tutored tasting and one to enjoy at your leisure, before or after.  The online session will take place on 17th December on Zoom but will be recorded for access afterwards.  So you don’t have to drink all six at once!

The case contains 2 each of:

BUSHEL+PECK: Fresh+Crisp; cider, an Eastern Counties-style cider made from unsprayed eating apples. Simple and refreshing. 2 x 500ml

DUNKERTONS: Breakwell’s Seedling; organic single variety cider. A fragrant and fruity sparkling medium dry cider. 2 x 500ml

JOLTER PRESS: Squeal; rich and flavourful medium sweet cider made from a variety of cider apples from the Forest of Dean. 2 x 500ml

ORCHARD REVIVAL: Festival; a popular blended West Country cider made from cider, dessert and culinary fruit.  Made by a small cider-maker in South Gloucestershire who is dedicated to restoring traditional orchards. 2 x 500ml

SEVERN CIDER: Perry; a delicate and crisp perry, made predominantly from Blakeney Red perry pears from this well-established cider-maker, located close to the River Severn. 2 x 330ml

THE WILD CIDER CO: Tyndale Gold; fruity aromatic cider pressed using a complex blend of cider apples picked from orchards under the watchful gaze of the Tyndale Monument. 2 x 500ml

 

Order from either Bushel & Peck or from Orchard Revival or from Wild Cider. Price per case is £36.50 plus £8.50 shipping (though local delivery may be available free, see links for details)

Or, if you don’t want the full case, why not look at all the other ciders and perrys on offer – there are links to all the 6 cider makers in the listing above and most have online shops.

Little Owl boxes (re)installed at Longney

The Little Owl boxes in our Longney Orchards have now all been erected in trees around the site, including the box whose original tree fell in strong winds earlier this year.

The boxes, kindly donated by the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group, were mounted on fruit trees and a pollarded willow at GOT’s Longney Orchards.

Thanks to Stuart and Pete who installed them all and to John Fletcher who advised on locations. They are level, even though they may not look so in the pictures!

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Enjoying Longney’s apples

posted in: apples, Longney, orchard | 0

A couple of pictures from Tobias Reynolds, an award winning Gloucester-based photographer, showing his wife and baby enjoying the apple crop at Longney.  Right-click the images to open full size in a new tab.

For more on Tobias’ work visit his website www.moochuk.com

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Topping under the trees at Longney

posted in: orchard | 0

Much of the orchard at Longney has been grazed this year but there’s still a need to cut some of the site.

As these pictures show the shepherd has recently made a very good start on topping with their own tractor (New Holland with a Rhino 3-bladed topper).

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Apple Day, 21st October

It’s Apple Day, as usual, on 21st October!

National Apple Day was launched in 1990 by Common Ground. Their aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.

The concept has become incredibly successful over the 30 years since – with events taking place all over the country organised by local orchard and apple groups, across a range of dates throughout October.  The Covid restrictions this year mean that there are rather fewer events than usual but some are still taking place and, if there are none near you, you can always celebrate at a local level in your own garden!

https://ptes.org/campaigns/traditional-orchard-project/orchard-network/apple-day/

https://www.commonground.org.uk/apple-day/

 

Harvesting at Longney

posted in: apples, harvest, Juice, orchard | 0
Picking Kingston Black at Longney

The Longney harvest is shared between several juicing and cider makers – including long-standing GOT supporters from both Days Cottage and Trust Juice.

 

These pictures are from Helen at Days Cottage, showing some of their harvest work a week or so ago:

 



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Creative Sustainability’s Longney Camp 2020

Here’s an inspiring report on this year’s Longney Orchard camp from the Creative Sustainability organisation. This local Community Interest Company organise (amongst many other things) camping weekends and day camps for disadvantaged young people, including disabled, refugees and asylum seekers.

Most of their camping programme had to be cancelled this year because of the Covid restrictions so the Longney event was particularly important this time.

Some quotes from the report:

‘I haven’t been into the countryside since I came to England, I don’t know where to go, whether I am welcome or safe or whether I have permission, or where I can walk’

‘This is the first sunset I’ve seen since coming to England’

‘..I found myself daydreaming of home before it became unsafe, for the first time. Normally I have nightmares. It’s being here at the orchard. It’s so peaceful – I slept well.’

‘I can see my home all around…(he pointed around the orchard as he spoke) these fruit trees, some crops, the muddy track, homes where my family, friends, aunties and uncles live, someone sleeping under the trees, the smell of cooking, goats here, chickens over there, camels and cows here’

‘It made me remember to live’

You can read the full report below or click here to download it. For more information on Creative Sustainability click here.

Click to access Report-for-Orchard-Trust.pdf

 

Celebration of Apples at Rockness Orchard  

posted in: apples, Juice, orchard, volunteers | 0

The Rockness Orchard Group had a very successful socially-distanced juicing day on 12th September.   The weather was kind and four groups of people took up five slots on the day (one group had a double slot).

Lots of credit to Fiona, who mobilised a number of local people into collaborating and participating in the day.

Pictures and words from Joy Way

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DNA Fingerprinting update – a review and update

posted in: apples, dna, identification, varieties | 0

Ainsleigh Rice from the Marcher Apple Network has recently written a very interesting and useful review of the DNA Fingerprinting initiative for us.

He explains how DNA fingerprinting can work, using marker pairs of DNA sequences, and gives some examples.  It’s complicated – you will need to concentrate!  And he goes on to discuss what this can (or cannot) tell us about each variety’s parentage.

The full text – as a pdf – can be read below or downloaded via this link.

Click to access Malus-Parentage-from-DNA-for-GOT-15Sep20.pdf

Another Update to Apples of Gloucestershire

Jim Chapman has produced another update to the summary of how the DNA project has changed our understanding of our local apple varieties.

The new version has sorted out references to the National Fruit Collection and the Register of Local Cultivars, but also includes a few minor corrections.

The new Apple document, dated July 2020 is available here.

The most recent equivalent for Pears, dated December 2019, is available here.

For more information on all this research click here.

Heritage orchards for sale – at Saycells Farm, Kempley, Gloucestershire

Update July 27th:   Good news – we understand that the house and orchards were purchased by a private buyer sympathetic to orchard conservation.

Here’s an opportunity for someone – or some organisation – to acquire and save nearly 30 acres of traditional orchard – with an option on a recently derelict (fire-damaged) farmhouse and yard too. The site is being offered in 4 lots at auction on 22nd July.

The location is Saycells Farm, once a significant player in our local orchard history.  Positioned just inside Gloucestershire but along the border with Herefordshire it is very close to the cider-making village of Much Marcle, where Westons Cider are based today.  But, back in the 19th Century, Saycells itself supported a cider and perry business as big as, possibly larger than, Westons.  The remaining traditional standard orchards – about 29 acres in total – reflect that legacy.

The land within the orchard lots also includes a rare parcel of flower-rich old grassland.  The orchards, and the grassland, are local and national biodiversity conservation priority habitats, so the wildlife value – and potential – is huge.  Maintaining the continuity of these habitats is completely compatible with reinstating fruit production and suitable grazing, so there is of course significant production potential too. There is also, sadly, a possibility of a new owner not wanting the orchards.

GOT is working with other groups and individuals to highlight the orchard value of the site – and we hope to galvanise the interest of persons wishing to own and care for this important conservation asset. We feel this is the surest way of avoiding the loss and damage that may follow a sale to persons not so motivated. There is a well-established local community orchard group – The Big Apple – very close by in Much Marcle who could support a new owner make a success the acquisition.

More details and links are below – but do get in touch with GOT or others if you want some advice – we can put you in touch with local orchard owners, some on adjoining farms, who can help explain the possibilities and potential.

Location:  Postcode HR8 2NP, gridref SO663312 – see map extract above.

 

The Auction details:

Saycells Farm is for sale at auction via HJ Pugh & Co, unless previously sold, at The Hazle Meadows Auction Centre, Ross Road, HR8 2LP on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 at 6.30pm.

Sale details are online at http://www.hjpugh.co.uk/full-details.php?id=2810&farm-much-marcle-ledbury-herefordshire-ledbury

There is also a pdf brochure available here:  http://images.portalimages.com/24206/29684739/brochure/s1/637268616575672537/33468ef07ed4d7bb6a6e022a6890d7fadb2d8357.pdf

The sale lots are (see map below right):

  • Lot 1 – derelict house, outbuildings and land of 10.3 acres which includes old traditional standard perry pear orchards with excellent vintage varieties including Blakeney Red, Brandy, Moorcroft and Thorn;
  • Lot 2 – traditional standard cider apple orchards (with a few standard perry pears) and permanent pasture alongside Kempley Road of 12.9 acres, which contains abundant wild daffodils. The mature fruit trees have a lot of dead wood = fabulous for bugs and birds;
  • Lot 3 – relict traditional standard perry pear orchard with species-rich, semi-natural neutral grassland of 6.27 acres (and an adjacent improved pasture of 14.75 acres) on north side of lane to St Mary’s Kempley – among which are 2 x Gregg’s Pit perry pear trees a rare variety.
  • Lot 4 – mixed secondary native broadleaved woodland and fishing pools of 37.45 acres with abundant Common Spotted Orchids along the rides and adjacent to the lakes; good stands of Yellow Flag, Water Mint, Mar