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

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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

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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

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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/

 

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